My 6yr old daughter has Autism and animals are her obsession so,much of our time is spent seeking out places where we can spend time with animals.
Up until she was 4 she was largely non-verbal(she spoke in her 'own' language or just kept quiet)and she was a solitary soul,a loner in every sense
of the word.
We recognised that she was drawn to animals and couldn't fail to notice her close relationship with our rescue dog.They were(and still are!)the
closest of friends.
Around that time we decided to surround her with animals.....well,as far as is possible in a semi with a medium sized garden anyway!
We went back to the rescue centre where we got our dog and rescued some rats....then came the rabbits and the hamsters,the cats and the chickens,the
giant snails and the fish and the frog pond.Her day changed dramatically as the family grew and....so did she.
I cannot begin to explain the powerful effect that these animals have had on her as the changes were huge but,she talks now(non-stop) and she is
calmer and those are 2 of the changes that have really helped her open up.
How i wish i had that ever elusive lottery win!!It's my dream to open an animal sanctuary geared specifically toward 'special need's' kids and
'special need's' animals.
Animals,like people are so often forgotten once they've served their purpose.Our elderly people invariably end up in high back chairs in a home
somewhere out of sight and out of mind(many with NO visitors)so,it doesn't surprise me that we have animals being forgotten too.
People are mis-treated and abused,as are animals.Very sad.
I'd love to give something back in a bigger way but,right now i'll have to settle for rescuing and caring for the waifs and strays locally,feeding
the birds over the winter,giving the RSPCA their monthly money and treating any animals i'm fortunate enough to interact with my respect and love.
So glad you posted this Muckster
The plight of our forgotten pet's and working animals is something we all have a hand in and awareness is a wonderful,life-changing thing!
[edit on 14-6-2010 by TheLily]