Animals Speak! Light Messages for Kids During the Pandemic. Issue #3

by | Mar 22, 2020 | Animals Speak!

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Well, friends, it’s time for another edition of Animals Speak! This is Kirrie again. Don’t get worried, the picture at the top is not of me. That’s just a friend of mine in Oregon who was “horsing around” with some boxes of dress-up clothes that the people were using. If you forgot what I look like, here’s a picture of me when I was working as a play therapy dog helping kids feel better when they were feeling upset or unhappy or hurt. Can you see what I’m doing? (That’s a puppet theater, and I used to love it when kids put on puppet shows for me!)

Kirrie, when she was a play therapy dog, waiting for the puppet show to begin. © 2005, 2018, 2020, Risë VanFleet, PhD, IIAAPT

For many of you, your schools have been closed about a week now, right? For others, maybe that is just starting. I continue to have many of my animal friends lining up to give you their words of wisdom and encouragement. I’ll get right to it.

Amora means “love.” Amora is a good friend of mine from here in Pennsylvania. She has a perfect heart shape on her side, and she is about as sweet as they come. She lives and works with Haley Boyko Moskella. To hear what she has to say, please click on her name: Amora.

Our next guest is a bearded dragon! Sometimes dragons in storybooks and movies are really friendly and sometimes they are not so nice. Spike is one of the really friendly ones (most of them are), and he isn’t in a storybook or a movie – he is a real live bearded dragon. Spike lives with Michal Powers. Click his name to see what he wants you to know: Spike.

Be sure to check with your parents or caretakers to see if it’s okay for you to go outside as Spike suggested, or if it’s okay to ride bikes. There are some places where that might not be possible right now, but you’ll be able to do that again in the future if you can’t do it now. If you can’t do the running around outside, ask your parents if there’s a place indoors where you can do a little running, like a hallway or a basement. If there’s not, here’s a fun thing I sometimes do with kids – run in slow motion! Pretend you are running and make all the motions as if you are really running, but do it very, very S-L-O-W-L-Y!

Our third and final guest for today is Luke. Luke is a REALLY big black dog, an English Lab. He lives and works in Alaska with Val Miraglia. He will share his thoughts about taking care of ourselves. When he talks about going outside, make sure you get permission from your parents or caretakers and remember to stay far away from other people if they are outside, too. We are still trying to do that physical distancing thing so we don’t get the virus and become yucky feeling. Someday this will all end, but in the meantime, listen to your parents and see if you like the ideas Luke and the others have been giving! To hear what he has to say, click on his name: Luke.

That’s all for today, gang! Hope you’re enjoying meeting all of my animal friends. We’ll have another edition of Animals Speak! in a few days!

Your 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 contact Kirrie or her human (Dr. Risë VanFleet) click here.

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

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

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