Do you remember when you were small? Did you like going to see that solemn-faced man in the white coat, the one who mumbled orders to you? “Open your mouth, say ah,” and I like this one, “this won’t hurt a bit just sit still.” Times have changed and so have our clinics and Doctors. Even though the shots are still a necessity and they still bring tears to our eyes, and therapy can feel worse then running up and down stairs on a humid day, the atmosphere and bedside manner of the doctors have become a lot more pleasant for our young children, especially when one little, black and white pony is allowed to help make the medicine go down.
Once a month, our little pony, named Mosey, shares his time along with myself, if I am good, greeting the children as they come for their appointments at the Children Clinic for Rehabilitation and to Tucson Medical Center Pediatric Ward. He provides a calming sensation while they gently pet him. He gives fun rides around the front patio for those who choose to do so. Pet Therapy is a wonderful catalyst in the children’s healing and therapeutic process.
Matthew, a happy go lucky little boy, born with a life long disability which has left him at the age of 6 with many medical, speech and physical problems, came with his parents to apply for services at the clinic. Mosey happened to be out front applying HIS special service. Matthew had no problem communicating his excitement, as he ran up to Mosey and began to pet him. His parents shared with us that he loved horses and always watched them closely on the television or picture books. So for him to get up on top of Mosey, it was a dream come true. Wide eyed and with his big beautiful smile, Matthew sat up on the saddle, his little hands wrapped around the horn and as he rocked back and forth he told Mosey, “Giddy Up.” Once his ride was done and he was walking away with his parents, Matthew looked over his shoulder, waved to Mosey and told his parents, “More Mosey, More!”
Mosey even gives some of the children rides to their car. We call this THE PONY EXPRESS! He has helped to cure the owies and stop the tears of some of the little patients that have had to undergo THE SHOT, pacifying without a pacifier. Oh yeah, the children love him and adults do too. We usually get a lot of the staff out to snuggle up to this little guy.
Mosey was a rescued pony. For the first five years of his life he was in and out of auctions. Being sold as a cute little gelding for some child only for the family to find out that he was still a stallion. An aggressive stallion at that. Mistreated, underweight and skin problems he was doomed until just by chance at one of the auctions a Rescue Horse Organization rescued him. This organization invested into gelding him, taught him some manners and brought him back to good health. I found out he was for sale and bought him and now have had the honor to watch him bring smiles as we have traveled the miles for the past six years giving rides to children at clinics, hospitals, hospice patients, birthday parties and special events around Tucson and it’s surrounding areas. This little guy really does have a purpose.
Now we hear the children say “ Mommy, Can I go to the Doctors, can I see my therapist and if they give me the SHOT, I might cry but I don’t mind because maybe Mosey, that little pony, my friend, he will be there and he will help make it all better.” (A spoonful of Mosey helps the medicine goes down!)