Therapy animals need their own R&R, even ones like Vino Blanco who are informal and unintended pet therapists. As busy as Yves is with four dogs and the job of running a popular restaurant, Yves makes sure Vino Blanco has time to rest and relax with friends. Every few days Yves takes Vino Blanco to a retreat at her special “camp” where she can visit her donkey friends and play untethered. One donkey is her special pal, and the minute he sees Vino arrive, he brays and carries on in a frenzy of delight. When she leaves, it is a sad moment for the poor fellow until the next time. Who could blame him? Vino Blanco is an exceptional beauty!
All kinds of animals have been specifically trained and used as therapy for all sort of people who benefit from the help. At the New School in the Heights in Houston, therapy dogs and one therapy cat regularly visit the children as part of a local church’s outreach programs. Dogs, cats and even an occasional rabbit have visited hospital wards, retirement homes, hospice and almost any place where a chance to feel warm fur under one’s hand brings a smile. Horses, too, are also regularly part of equine programs to help children and adults with physical challenges and bring a sense of empowerment to the people they help.
The medical benefits of pets are well documented. Pet an animal and your blood pressure goes down.
The point of writing her about Vino Blanco is to illustrate the “therapeutic” benefits of many untrained animals who never specifically intended to affect anyone outside the limited circle of their immediate family. It’s not just my opinion that Vino Blanco has done that. A headline in the local newspaper read, “Celebrity Donkey Honored for Spreading Joie de Vivre.” Visit Yves’ Restaurant and you will see hanging on the wall a certificate stating:
Congratulations to Vino Blanco and her remarkable owner, Yves. If there is a better friend to animals and people,
it is hard to imagine.