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Animal Assisted Therapy

Therapy dog   Update on Queen (Jan 2024)

I am often asked what exactly a therapy dog does in session. The answer is always "depends". Sometimes the entire purpose of the therapy dog's presence is to create more relaxed atmosphere for an individual who is uncomfortable and anxious. The dogs sense the need and simply climb on the couch next to the person or calmly sleep on floor by their fit. 

Another times I use my therapy dog as an object that feelings and thoughts can be projected on: It is much easier to talk about what the dog may think about "me" rather what "I may think about me". 

When both dogs are mentioned in session, relational issues and their resolution come to the surface. Children can identify sibling rivalry and adults can learn non-judgmental approach to conflicts. 


Certified therapy dog Queen on the right and Mufasa (9 months old in this photo) on the left. 

Queen Update
Queen Update

It’s time to share some really sad news about Queen. our ultimate therapy dog and truly one of a kind. On Christmas Eve, Queen was diagnosed with bone cancer. She began to limp and within a week the limping increased. X-rays clearly confirmed the diagnosis of an aggressive cancer in her body.

This diagnosis was unexpected due to Queen’s young age of only five years old, which makes this news even more devastating. We are grateful for the time that we have right now to say goodbye; and for everyone whom Queen touched by her healing soul, this is an opportunity to say goodbye. Saying "goodbye" is an important skill. 

Queen helped dozens of kids overcome fear of dogs, and she was able to provide comfort and emotional regulations to many. We do not know exactly how much time Queen has left, but according to the oncologist it is about 1-2 months from the time of her diagnosis at the end of 2023. If I did not reach out to you and you would like to say goodbye to Queen, now it is the time.

She is still a happy dog. She eats well, even though it is difficult for her to step on her left front foot. We have decided not to put on her on any treatment, as it is both painful, risky, and does not really provide any significant extended quality of life. We will be monitoring her health, and we will make the decision when it is the time to let her go in the most humane way avoiding any pain and suffering. Until that time, she will be showered with love and yummy treats.

We worry about Mufasa, who will be losing his beloved mother figure. Mufasa will still be providing comfort to kids in the therapy room. I will make the assessment about the appropriateness of Mufasa's participation in future sessions.  


Thank you all for sharing your support and care, and for allowing Queen to be part of your life, as she was for us.

Equine Therapy at the "Wise Horse Ranch"

Equine facilitated psychotherapy is becoming more and more popular since more and more research available to proof its positive impact on humans. Its secret lies in the mutual attraction between humans and horses. 

Horses are herd animals, and their survival depends on effective communication (quick and accurate) among the herd’s members. In order to communicate quickly, horses use electromagnetic fields to transfer their messages. These accurate messages come from the “feelings” that horses naturally identify, and use as information on how to act.

For example, when a horse sees a predator that is about to strike, the horse will not analyze the situation or doubt his assessment, but will act out of fear immediately by running (horses’ first choice) or fighting the predator if needed. The emotion that this horse experiences holds certain amounts of energy that will be immediately sent and picked up by the rest of the herd – so that everyone knows what to do.


One of the features that is attractive for humans in horses, is the horse’s ability to not doubt themselves in trusting their feelings and to act precisely on the information that feeling brings. In today’s world, humans learned to undermine or completely dismiss their emotions as less valuable. Since childhood every human is being taught to behave in the society according to the norms that slowly shake the confidence of our intuition.


Through the interaction with horses, humans can relearn their behavior patterns and regain trust in their intuition. Horses on the other hand are attracted to humans because of their own need for survival through diversity: the more diverse the herd, the more chances of survival the herd has. This is because humans are predators by nature (eyes in front = predator, eyes on the side = prey), and therefore having predators on the prey’s side increases the level of protection.

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Leading the horse using only your inner power 

For all corporate equine workshops please call me at  917-725-0884


For therapeutic riding and therapeutic interaction with the horses  for adults and children, please contact Doreen Higham at Wise horse Ranch Tel: 845-281-2457. 

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“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

― Winston S. Churchill

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