It’s Kirrie here. I have something very special lined up for you today! First, let me say that when I was younger, I used to work as a play therapy dog! Did I ever tell you that before? What that means is that sometimes kids of all ages would come to work with me. We played together and this helped them work on some of their goals about how to feel better and live happier lives. Here’s a picture of me in one of the play therapy rooms where I worked:
I really liked doing that kind of work, but after a long time, I retired. Now that we are in the midst of the pandemic, it seems that everyone is talking about stress! Parents are feeling stressed, people in the neighborhood are feeling stressed, and maybe even teachers are feeling stressed some of the time. I think that happens when life changes pretty suddenly and everyone has to make some quick changes. That’s just what happened with this pandemic, didn’t it? It’s normal to feel some anxiety or depression or even crankiness when we are faced with sudden changes. That happens for us dogs, too! And, I’ll bet that happens for kids, too — am I right? Things change, we have to adjust, and then we get these feelings of being uncomfortable.
Did you know that there are things you can do to get past some of those uncomfortable feelings of stress? In prior issues some of my animal friends talked about getting some exercise and going outdoors if you are allowed to and if there’s a place you can go where you can stay apart from other people. We also talked briefly about learning something new or building something. When we do something to help ourselves feel better, even for a while, it’s called resilience. That’s a pretty big word that means you have bounce-back ability! That’s what we need now in the pandemic–bounce-back ability! We will continue to talk about how to bounce back and be resilient!
Today, I have several special guests who are doing something VERY useful in being resilient – making music! I’ll bet some of you reading this play some instruments. Or maybe many of you can sing. If you know this song, please sing along with my friends! Or play it a few times until you learn the words so you can sing along. It’s a pretty happy song that will remind you how special you are!
So now, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce my friends, here all the way from Hong Kong! They are therapy dogs from the Hong Kong Animal Assisted Therapy Association, and their contribution was shared with us by Debbie, the founder of that organization. Their names are Hummer, Paupau, Gil Gil, and Coffee! They will sing for you, and then at the very end, you’ll hear them saying something in Cantonese – their main language. I don’t know what they are saying – do you? Maybe it’s a message about finding sunshine in your life — the good things you can enjoy.
So without further ado, here they are to sing for you. Click on their names to watch their music video:
Hummer, PauPau, Gil Gil, and Coffee.
Hope you enjoy my Hong Kong friends! See you again soon!
Your good pal,
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 her human (Dr. Risë VanFleet), send an email to email@example.com.
To learn more about Animal Assisted Play Therapy® click this link.
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