November 8, 2019
Chicago’s cold November brings a chill in the air that requires an extra ounce of warmth in our coffee to bring comfort to our volunteers who brave the elements and come out in the cold as the Merciful Minis prance up into the trailer on the way to visit Smith Village Retirement Center in the southwest Beverly neighborhood.
Upon our arrival we were visited by an enthusiastic administrator who greeted us warmly at the doorway to tell us how excited the seniors were to have the minis make a return visit to their beautiful home.
As the miniature horses confidently entered the lovely carpeted room we could hear the giggles of seniors excited at the prospect of horses inside of their home, donned with holiday plaid ribbons on their tales.
The minis visited with each senior. There was a wide range of horse experience in the room; one senior spoke of living on a farm in Ireland surrounded by animals while still others had never touched the mane of a horse in their lifetime. Regardless of their past experiences with horses each senior had the opportunity to feel the fluffy, clean winter coats of a miniature horse meticulously groomed for a pre-holiday visit. Many seniors called for the minis to continue to make more rounds, stay a little longer, and at one point, come up to their room for a longer visit.
It was at this time that I noticed that cold weather was no longer a factor. The minis once again found their way into the warm hearts of all- residents, staff and Merciful Minis volunteers.