Senior Citizens Smile For Little Horsey

Studies have shown that spending time with animals can reduce loneliness and depression. Buttons, a thirty-one inch high miniature horse, has been working with nursing homes and schools for six years. Buttons was on duty Friday in Mount Pleasant, brightening the day for some senior citizens.

You couldn't help but smile this afternoon when buttons came to town. Resident Esther Gibson said, "We wanted to see it. You know, when everybody brings an animal, it's always a joy to see them."

Rossie Porterfield pointed to his gentleness to explain her love for Buttons. "The way he does, he just comes up to you and lays his head over your lap like he expects you to pet him."

Buttons made his rounds, cheering up the housebound residents. They enjoyed him, taking time to pet and scratch him, and giving love to a creature from outside their nursing home.

Esther said, "I think it gives them a lift to see the animals and touch them. That's the main thing, the touching."

Rossie agreed. "Just bringing the outside world in here for us to see, I think it does all of us good to see him."

Buttons is not only soft and cuddly and a public servant, he's a hall of famer. His work with nursing homes and handicapped children has made him the first miniature horse selected for the Texas Animal Hall of Fame in Sulphur Springs.

Reid Kerr reporting.