EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Patients at an East Texas Care Center were visited by therapeutic animals Thursday - not dogs or cats, but different bringers of good cheer.
The faces of seniors at Treviso Transitional Care in Longview were visibly brightened with the arrival of one furry friend, a pony named Michael.
"The horses will come and visit the residents that live here. This is their home, their apartment, they'll go room to room," says Wellness Director Ashleigh Walton.
Miracle Weaver Ministry brought Michael for a Christmas cheer visit to the senior residents to deliver Christmas cards and goodies.
"We have residents that love and kiss on them, and the horse lets them," Walton says.
Though the ministry has other therapy animals, Michael is a change from the more expected therapy pet.
"Always people enjoy seeing him he gives us all a good feeling," says resident Judy Hughes.
Horses seem to have a sense about people.
"Children that have been diagnosed with autism, I've had them say their first words while petting the horse," says trainer Kathleen Adams.
"We had a resident that was nearing the end of his life. The horse walked up to the bed and laid his head on the bed, and the man responded and began petting the horse" Walton says.
Extremely well trained, the little horse made connections with the seniors.
"Being a great-granny you like to see children and they're like children to me. I'm so glad to see them. They're so gentle with people, they're so glad to be here," says resident Dot Smith.
The horse therapy is actually a regular event that happens once a month at Treviso.