Monday, September 15, 2014

A pit bull as therapy and Rookwood Cemetery open day

Christophe and Dennis on horses. They have participated in funerals before and, as we discovered, are partial to an apple or two (but definitely not three).

On Friday I posed an ethical question about breed identification and received a range of comments, mostly from people who didn’t want to post publicly which is fine. It is, like many animal welfare topics, fairly emotive.

A colleague sent this video (if it isn't showing on your device, click here). In places where pit bulls are banned it seems shocking to see a “dangerous breed” in a therapy role – but it certainly provides food for thought for those consequentialists contemplating the conundrum.

Speaking of pets as therapy, yesterday Phil and I popped over to the Rookwood Cemetery, aka Rookwood Necropolis, the largest Necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere. [There is something about the word Necropolis – its Greek for “city of the dead”, which to me conjures up thoughts of very industrious dead working away at their projects]. Naturally they were selling tea and scones and Phil tried his hardest to perform some quality assurance by taste-testing.


The cemetery was actually pretty stunning.
They had an open day so we got to take a little tour, and we met a remarkable Newfoundland called Mo, who is a trained therapy dog. Not only does Mo visit people in hospitals and nursing homes, he also attends funerals. His owners are funeral directors, hence his personalised Guardian Funerals bib.

Mo. He's big, he's beautiful, and he brings joy to people he visits in hospitals.

There is something very lovely about the idea of a calm dog at a funeral. I think people take great comfort in the presence of animals when grieving. 

This gorgeous cat was just hanging out at the florist, flirting with the customers and making a lot of people smile.
Interestingly there were also horses, which may be requested to lead a funeral march, and also a very friendly little cat at the florist. And on that note, if you missed our post on 50 reasons to adopt a cat, check it out here.