When asked what is my favourite animals, I would say turtles and tortoises. From young, I am often fascinated with them. I find it amazing that they can move about carrying their little shells that doubles up as a home. That everywhere they go, they could carry their home with them.
So when I read the article about The Turtle Therapist from a box turtle called Florida, and being taken care off by Dr Mitch Spero- I can’t help to agree that indeed turtles or tortoise make good therapy pets.
“Even though a turtle doesn’t necessarily understand feelings, I can use them to help children learn about theirs,” said Dr Spero.
Note: Keeping any pets requires responsibility and time commitment. A pet can bring up all the positive qualities in a child like being responsible, compassionate, caring, patient and loving as the child learns to take care of another living being by feeding, bathing, cleaning its cage, etc. It surely a better means of instilling good qualities compared to buying them electronic gadgets and games.
However, sometimes children may have short attention span and may ‘lose interest’ and ignore the pet once he/she gets bored with it. That would leave the parent or the maid with the job of looking after the pet. A pet is a living creature, not a lifeless toy. Once you have bought it, it becomes your responsibility as the animal relies on you for its living. If you feel that you would not have the capabilities, patience or means of looking after the pet in the long run, it is much kinder not to own a pet.
Update in 2021: Originally there was a video of Florida, the turtle therapist and the tricks that he could do when this post was written in 2012. Florida is having a positive impact on kids who are suffering emotionally which was how the video had caught my attention. However, the video is no longer available. I have, however, found another Turtle Therapist by the name of Wasabi who is brought to cheer up seniors:
For full listing of articles related to Pets, please go to http://healthblog.yinteing.com/main/pets/.