Animals Speak! Issue 10. Josie Patches Talks About Masks.

by | May 2, 2020 | Animals Speak!

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Hi Everybody,
This is Josie Patches here. Kirrie is busy going through the messages from some of our other animal friends, and she will be back to feature those in the very near future. She asked me if there is something I’d like to talk about and there IS!! I want to talk about these mask things. Since it’s good for all of us to practice our reading, today I am dictating my message to The Typist (Risë) and you will be able to read while I’m talking. You might need to open up two windows, one for my reading and one to follow along and see the pictures I put in here (or just use the back button)! Click on my name to get the part where I am reading: Josie Patches 1.

Did you know that in some countries where they have had some problems with viruses in the past that you often see people wearing masks? I didn’t know that, but it’s true! And even on the continent of Antarctica, way down where the South Pole is, people often have to wear masks when they go outside, not because of viruses, but because it is so cold! But here in North America, and I think in South America, Africa, Australia, and Europe and a few other places like that they are not so common. UNLESS, of course, you watch television programs and movies about BAD GUYS!! Have you ever seen a show where the bad guys covered up their faces so that nobody could tell who they were? I’ve seen a few shows like that myself, but I never thought too much about masks and things across people’s faces before.

Well, ever since I began hearing about this new coronavirus thing and how it can make some people pretty sick, I began hearing more about masks – not on the bad guy television shows, but on the news where they were talking about doctors and other GOOD GUYS! (And just so you know, when I say “guys” I mean both boys and girls and men and women.). The medical people needed some special masks when they were helping out the patients who had the COVID-19 illness that comes from the coronavirus. They needed very special masks so they could work closely with those patients and keep healthy themselves. I heard that for a while there weren’t enough of them, and then I heard about a gazillion people making these masks. Now click on my name below to hear the next part: Josie Patches 2.

After all that, they said that all the people should wear these masks if they went out in public. This is to protect everyone, too. But guess what. At first I had a very different idea. I had watched all those Bad Guy movies, and I began to think EVERYONE was a BAD GUY!! I got really scared. I didn’t know who to trust anymore. And even when my own family put on the masks, I couldn’t tell who they were at first! It was kind of upsetting for me. Whenever I saw a human with a mask on, I backed up a few feet so I could keep an eye on them in case they tried some funny business.

My human mum, Risë (slso known as The Typist), told me that even though she could see where I got that idea, wearing masks was going on for all people and that MOST people are very good and not Bad Guys! The bad guys were bad because they did bad things, not because of the masks. These new masks that were showing up everywhere were all about keeping the virus away from their noses and mouths and so these types of masks were GOOD things! I still was a little bit afraid, though, because I wasn’t used to all these masks. Then Risë got a funny idea to help me not be afraid. She found a couple big masks that she will use in our play therapy work (I help her with that) and she tried them on. I have to say that she looked pretty weird. She did not fool me one little bit. I knew immediately that she was neither a raccoon nor a Dalmatian! Check out the pictures below! Then click on my name below the pictures.

Click here to continue: Josie Patches 3.

So then she had another idea to help me understand that ANYONE can wear one of these masks. And almost all of the time, the people wearing them are GOOD people who are just trying to stay healthy and keep everyone around them healthy. That actually sounds like a smart idea. (We dogs don’t really get sick from this virus like people do, so we don’t have to wear masks.)

So this is what she did. Up in the top picture, you’ll see that she gave me a mask to look at. Her friend and colleague, Erika Surkin, made it. I liked the colors of it and especially that it had a bunch of dogs on it. At first, I didn’t know what to do with it, though, so I just sat there. Here I am just sitting there with it:

Then I began to play around with it a little bit. I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to put it on!


Finally we realized that my ears were not in the right place for it. Risë gave me some good dog treats underneath it, and then I could get my nose under it. I liked having it on for just a second because those treats were good! Here I am with the mask on and the smell of yummy dog treats filling my nose!

After I had a chance to play around with it, and to see my family members being goofy putting masks on and off, I realized that lots of GOOD GUYS were wearing masks these days. They were like a new fashion statement. As I got used to the idea, I was no longer afraid. I knew these types of masks were good things for good humans to wear! From now on, I am going to look at all the different masks to see how many different kinds there are – I think there are a hundred gazillion of them!

That’s it for today. Stay safe and stay healthy, my friends!
–Josie Patches

Animals Speak! is a project of the International Institute of Animal Assisted Play Therapy® featuring therapists and their animals from all over the world who have been trained in AAPT. The purpose is to provide child-friendly information about topics related to the pandemic, along with some fun or interesting ideas to help kids of all ages cope with what is going on.

To see prior issues, click right here.

To contact Kirrie or Josie Patches or her human (Dr. Risë VanFleet), send an email to

To learn more about Animal Assisted Play Therapy® click this link.


*Animal Assisted Play Therapy is a trademark of the Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center, Inc. and its International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy®.

All content, photos, and videos are copyrighted © 2020, All rights reserved.