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Off the Leash Off the Leash

Therapy llama lifts patients' spirits

Move over, therapy dogs.

By Vetstreet Apr 10, 2013 7:47PM
Rojo the llama visits a young patient in an Oregon hospital. // Photo: CNNTurns out dogs aren't the only animals that can make people feel better. Meet Rojo the llama and Napoleon, his alpaca friend, a pair of unique therapy animals from Vancouver, Wash. Rojo “grew up to be this amazing, huggable, lovable llama, and somebody at a fair came up to us and said, "You should get him certified for therapy,'” said Lori Gregory. Gregory took the advice to heart and started Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas
Now her therapy teams dress up with flowers and little hats and visit hospitals and senior centers. “[Rojo is] such a quiet, gentle, peaceful soul … it’s like he really knows how special he is and how special the kids are,” said Kelly Schmidt of the Providence Children’s Center in Oregon. “It’s very a contagious spirit to have Rojo around because it’s just so unusual.”

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7Comments
May 23, 2013 8:02PM
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I do so miss my Llama Romeo who potty trained many fillies and colts from soiling their stalls. He would scurry them outside every time they messed and soon they all became "Horse Broken" and kept their stalls clean. He died when a friend tied him up to a fence near her Rodey Bush. He ate the toxic leaves and the vet could do nothing. He died in my arms. Not Alone.
Apr 10, 2013 10:41PM
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More appropriate coverage than earlier - thank you.  Lori and her llamas and alpacas bring joy, kindness and comfort to many every week.
Apr 10, 2013 10:36PM
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 Therapy pets really do make a wonderful difference in lives of patients.  The hospital that I work for has a therapy dog program.  The dogs ( and thier owners ) are Volunteers for the hospital.  The Volunteers give the patients something to look forward to during their hospital stay.  The therapy dogs are happy, the pet owners are happy and the patients enjoy the company of the therapy dogs.  Unconditional love is a wonderful healer.
Apr 10, 2013 8:54PM
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We did that with llamas 15 years ago...Not new.
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