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Offbeat Move Over Dogs, Goats, and Peacocks: Llamas Are the Hot New Therapy Animal

12:32  19 november  2019
12:32  19 november  2019 Source:   mentalfloss.com

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The New York Times reports that 20 llamas and alpacas are registered with Pet Partners, a national nonprofit organization for therapy animals , and Three of them are registered therapy animals , having passed a test that includes being touched by strangers and staying unaffected while people

Mental Floss. Looking into the giant, empathetic eyes of a llama might just lower your blood pressure and reduce stress.

a close up of a white animal looking at the camera© jensenwy/iStock via Getty Images

Possibly because Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and the rest of the reindeer are pretty busy at this time of year, Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Portland, Oregon, is offering guests the chance to hang out with a few jolly llamas instead.

The Washington Postreports that the friendly, festively dressed llamas belong to Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas, which usually brings them to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior communities, hospice care, special-needs organizations, and even schools. According to the organization’s website, the visits help “alleviate loneliness, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.”

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Move Over Dogs , Goats , and Peacocks : Llamas Are the Hot New Therapy Animal . Therapy llamas are spreading holiday cheer, alleviating stress, and lowering blood pressure from Oregon to Texas and beyond.

Animals . Ryrkaypiy, Russia, Is Being Overrun By Hungry Polar Bears. A Sweater That Shows an Image of Your Dog in a Sweater. Move Over Dogs , Goats , and Peacocks : Llamas Are the Hot New Therapy Animal .

And, though the clinical benefits to the Kimpton’s guests haven’t been proven, hotel manager Travis Williams confirms that everyone definitely loves spending time with the quirky quadrupeds. Last year, after overwhelmingly positive reactions to the llama visits, the hotel decided to bring them back.

“Once we saw the joy that it brought people, we just kept going,” Williams told The Washington Post.

While it might seem like the use of llamas for therapy is a characteristically Portland-ish idea, it’s not the only place you can find them. The New York Timesreports that 20 llamas and alpacas are registered with Pet Partners, a national nonprofit organization for therapy animals, and many others are owned and trained by private family farms across the country.

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Move Over Dogs , Goats , and Peacocks : Llamas Are the Hot New Therapy Animal . Therapy llamas are spreading holiday cheer, alleviating stress, and lowering blood pressure from Oregon to Texas and beyond.

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Jeff and Carol Rutledge, for example, have 13 llamas and alpacas on their property in Stockdale, Texas, outside San Antonio. Three of them are registered therapy animals, having passed a test that includes being touched by strangers and staying unaffected while people argue near them.

During their visits to assisted living facilities, veterans’ homes, and other events in the area, the Rutledges have observed the animals having a profound effect on residents’ behavior. One man, who is nonverbal and recovering from a motorcycle accident, will murmur as he grooms one of the llamas. And the Rutledges’ high-school-aged daughter, Zoe, even did a science experiment for her 4-H club that showed the residents’ blood pressure is lower after visiting with the llamas.

While there’s not a very high chance of seeing therapy llamas in airports just yet, you might be lucky enough to see something a little smaller—like LiLou, San Francisco International Airport’s first therapy pig.

You Have to Read This Job Listing for a Live-In Dog Nanny to Believe It .
Do you love dogs? Have you always dreamt of living in a six-story townhouse in London's chicest neighborhood? Then this is probably your dream job.The listing—which was posted on Silver Swan Search, a job recruiting website—notes that the position requires some daily housekeeping tasks, such as laundry, food shopping, cooking vegan meals, running errands, greeting visitors, and taking calls. But the primary responsibility would be making sure that the couple's two dogs, Milo and Oscar, are truly living the good life.

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