Posts tagged with "Goodnet"

Meet Frank, a pup’s emotional support dog

October 19, 2020

It turns out that humans are not the only creatures who need emotional support animals (ESAs) or specially trained therapy dogs: Just as sighted dogs step up to help their blind canine friends; so, too, can high-spirited confident pooches give timid dogs a sense of equanimity and aplomb.

According to a report by Goodnet, Arnold—a two-year-old Weimaraner who lives in Perth, Australia, with his owner Carolyn Manalis—was mauled by a German Shepherd when he was just a pup. Although Arnold already was a bit insecure, after the incident with the German Shepherd, he started suffering from separation anxiety and was afraid of large dogs.

Worried pet parent Manalis then met Frank, a miniature dachshund who was up for adoption, according to Tanks Good News. Despite his tiny stature—he weighed 66 fewer pounds than Arnold—Manalis recognized Frank’s upbeat, confident nature right away.  She decided that Arnold needed an emotional support animal—and Frank was the ideal candidate for the job.

In an interview with Metro, Manalis described how the dogs reacted when they met: “It was love at first sight! Frank gave Arnold the confidence boost he so needed. “Frank has helped Arnold regain his confidence to be able to play and wrestle, whilst learning that this doesn’t always mean he’s going to get hurt or attacked. Having a little friend to play with has been the perfect therapy for Arnold to heal,” she said.

“Everywhere Arnold walks, Frank will follow. The bond these two dogs have is just insanely beautiful.” 

Arnold is convinced he is Frank’s big brother, or maybe his dad. Just like older siblings show the younger ones the ways of the world, Arnold has taught Frank house training etiquette, barking-at-strangers decorum, and even safety rules, such as how to remain still at a road crossing.

Manalis told Metro, “We swear Frank thinks Arnold is his Dad. Being the second child, he definitely didn’t get as much training and attention as the first. Most of what he has learnt, he has learnt from Arnold. Frank copies everything Arnold does, to the point where if Arnold barks or makes a sound, Frank will mimic it directly after, almost like a parrot!”

This is one beautiful reciprocal relationship and it demonstrates how beneficial having more than one dog can be. According toDogs Health, dogs were once pack animals. Since they used to live in the wild in large family groups, they are social and enjoy companionship. And, as Arnold and Frank have shown, two heads may be better than one, but two tails are simply adorable!

Research contact: @goodnet

Fowl play: Chicken therapy is tackling loneliness among the elderly

March 28, 2019

Sixty nursing homes across the United Kingdom have welcomed in some “fine feathered friends” to amuse their residents, promote healthful activities, and reduce loneliness—all courtesy of HenPower, a program dedicated to improving older people’s lives through creativity.

The hens are housed on the grounds, giving elderly occupants the opportunity to spend some productive time outdoors—feeding them, collecting the eggs, maintaining their coops, and generally looking after them, according to a report by Goodnet.

HenPower has been especially successful working with patients who have dementia—“hengaging” them in daily activities that promote a sense of community, and decreasing their overall levels of anxiety.

The hens aren’t there just for diversion and therapy, however. They also serve as muses for the residents, Goodnet notes. In fact, they have become the subject of paintings, songs, stories, and more, as their elderly friends find new purpose in their days and feel excited by flowing creativity.

The organization has been especially helpful in allowing elderly residents to feel needed through caring for others, instead of always being cared for, themselves. It’s a small change that has made a significant impact on their lives and outlook.

While seemingly unconventional, the presence of the chickens has made a significant improvement in the residents’ outlook. One study conducted by Northumbria University found that HenPower really does help improve their health and increase their enthusiasm for life.

One elderly man said that—while he initially believed the HenPower concept was bizarre, at best—he ultimately decided to try the program, and now feels it’s the best thing he ever has done.

When elderly residents know they have a reason to get up in the morning because they have to look after their chickens, it brings everyone together for the same cause, taking care of the animals and themselves.

Research contact: @goodnet_org

IKEA Israel offers 3D-printable add-ons to adapt its furnishings for the disabled

March 19, 2019

IKEA—a global retailer that is nearly as famous for its Swedish meatballs as it is for its self-assembled, affordable home furnishings—has started an initiative that will make its products more accessible and adaptable to customers with disabilities.

This month, Goodnet reports, IKEA Israel has teamed up with two NGOs, Access Israel and MILBAT—both of which focus on increasing accessibility for and inclusion of people with disabilities—to create the new ThisAbles line of furnishings.

The line comprises 13 add-ons—designed to be created on a 3D printer—that:

  • Make doors and closets open more easily,
  • Extend the legs of sofas and chairs to better accommodate sitting and standing,
  • Offer a place to attach walking sticks or canes to beds so they are easily accessible,
  • Make shower curtains easier to open and close with a large handle, and e
  • Protect other household furniture with special bumpers to attach at wheelchair levels.

“There is a large population of people with disabilities who cannot enjoy and use a variety of products, furniture and household items that we and our retail colleagues offer to the public,” CEO of IKEA Israel Shuki Koblenz told the Jerusalem Post in an interview, adding, “IKEA has vowed to create a better daily life for as many people as possible, and we feel it is our duty to create this initiative and allow people with disabilities to enjoy a wide range of products, furniture and household items.”

Before starting the new line of accessories, Access Israel conducted a survey in cooperation with IKEA—and found 130 furniture and household items that could be improved for people with disabilities. The accessories were designed by MILBAT, an organization dedicated to increasing the independence of disabled people by means of assistive devices and technology. it was a perfect fit, the three partners say.

In all four of its Israel-based stores, IKEA now has placed special tags that detail the suitability and benefits of the add-ons for people with different disabilities on the 130 items that can be modified by the ThisAbles.

The smart additions also will be displayed in a special area so that shoppers can view the items and see how they connect to existing products.

The full series of additions and the IKEA products that can be modified are available on the ThisAbless website along with helpful product training videos.

In addition, the ThisAbles line of products can be purchased on the MILBAT website—or people can scan the barcode of the new products to print independently in a 3D printer. This makes them readily available to people who live in other countries.

Today, according to Access Israel, over 1.6 million people—8% of the population—live with disabilities; around 700,000 of them, severe.

“I am convinced that this initiative will actually improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in Israel and around the world,” Yuval Wagner, president and founder of nonprofit Access Israel, told the Jerusalem Post.

Research contact:  #ThisAbles