I’m Emily Hawkins, pet lover and animal therapy advocate who has spent the last 10 years of my life raising and training animals to be happy, healthy beings who bring joy and comfort to others. I used to raise Connemara ponies, and during that time I observed the behavior of my barn cats and dogs and how, even though they were “feral,” they were still very loving and sweet. Now that I’ve moved to Tennessee (another great place for people who love horses!) to be closer to my aging family members, I raise cats, dogs, goats, pigs and other animals outside the small bed and breakfast I bought.
My goal is to one day open an animal-friendly assisted living community right here on my land. Until then, I take my best dogs and cats around to local retirement communities for visits with the residents, and I run a traveling petting zoo. I care about all my animals deeply, so I don’t charge money for any of these activities and I never will.
This blog is a place for me to share stories about some of my visits with people, to give tips to other people like me who might be dealing with family members suffering from dementia and other age-related illnesses. It can be difficult and heartbreaking. I hope that I can help by sharing my thoughts and experiences.