Alpaca-assisted Interactions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eHnOG98P5w

The quality of this video is not amazing, for which I apologize, but I liked it because I like alpacas! I also am the type of person who likes the smell of a farm which, as my Los Angeleno husband likes to point out to me, is the smell of poo. However, if you wanted to please me, you'd let me pet a dog. If you REALLY wanted to rock my world, however, you'd find me a cow or a goat or...an alpaca!! My point is that dogs are really great, but I see them all the time, and kind of take them for granted, wonderful friends as they are. However, if you needed a technique to really get my attention, focus me, or even interest me outside of my normal routine, an alpaca would do the trick. So the research question that I pulled out of the topic's readings, and that naturally occurs to me when thinking about me and mine and the opportunities for integrating animal assisted therapy is not really ground-breaking - I wonder about how the effects would vary when using different kinds of animals, and, as another step, if the setting for the interaction matters. I say this because dogs can go all kinds of wonderful places that alpaca can't - I saw information on dogs in hospitals, assisted living homes, and so on - and that would be awkward for a farm animal, to say the least. On the other hand, I could see how the process of removing someone out of their natural setting and going on an adventure could be really great as a dimension of therapy - I know that my kids, for a close-to-home example, are far more functional human beings after some novel fresh air. It seems like that could either be a complicating feature, or a very helpful feature. So I guess that's a two-pronged research question, but there you have it!

2 Comments

Mageen,
I had to smile at your description of the effect llamas have on you because my horse reacts the same way.
She doesn't react to the cows, dogs, cats or roosters on her farm but when she sees the llama she starts, breathes deeply and watches intently. By the way, I don't know if its just my computer, but I can't access the video. Thanks for posting,
Jean

Hmmm - maybe one of these works better? Thanks for the heads up that one wasn't working! Apparently, it is big enough of a thing that there are a heap o'videos on the topic, on a ranch in Missouri especially! (I love your horse's reaction - I totally get where she is coming from!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eHnOG98P5w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JXBr9lstfY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3zvUNuxnZA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZlDs0RtnoA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Exa_Uqads

Hi,
I enjoyed the video you posted and like the idea of keeping a broad perspective when it comes to what types of animals should/could be used in animal assisted therapy. It was interesting/nice to see that the hospital in TX chose to use Alpacas instead of something more popular like a dog to help kids with autism; people respond differently to different types of animals!

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This page contains a single entry by Mageen C. published on March 29, 2013 8:33 PM.

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