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Miniature horse finds calling as therapy animal

By Peter Rosen | Posted - Sep 17th, 2013 @ 10:35pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Therapy animal work isn't just for dogs — ask Daisy's owner, Debbie Hamilton.

Daisy, standing at 29 inches tall, is a miniature horse. Her proper name is Wendy Woods Golden Palomino Daze.

Hamilton originally bought Daisy as a show horse, but she said the animal was too mellow to show but just right for therapy work.

The pair recently went to Avalon Valley Rehabilitation, where volunteers tested and re-certified the horse, as well as a few dogs, for therapy animal work. Daisy passed easily.

"Daisy has been one of our superstars from the very first year," said Deborah Carr, executive director of Therapy Animals of Utah and a volunteer with Pet Partners, the organization that registers the animals.

After her exam, Daisy demonstrated her special brand of healing and affection as she mingled with residents.

"She's always been such a mellow, sweet, sweet horse," Carr said. "That whole sense of peacefulness that comes when she's in the room."

People sometimes wonder how Daisy is able to be a therapy animal.

"People have asked me how I've trained her to do this," Hamilton said. "I haven't trained her to do anything. This is what she was born to do."

Others said they are grateful for Daisy's service.

"It's something you wouldn't expect," Carr said. "But what a gift it is."


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