A BLIND Shetland pony gave an elderly care home resident visions of his childhood during a recent animal therapy session.
Smurf, a 30-year-old pony from Mini Pony Hire, was visiting The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, Blyth, when residents were able to meet and stroke him.
The visit reminded Raymond Dixon, 88, of how he used to deliver meat on horse and cart for his grandfather’s butchers’ shop.
From the age of seven to 14 years, he delivered all over Seaton Sluice and Seaton Deleval for Taylor and Dixon Butchers.
Raymond, who later completed national service before working as a joiner, said: “Smurf made me think about that time as I always helped to muck out the ponies.
“I used to love riding on the cart, doing the deliveries around Seaton Deleval, where my granddad’s business was. Smurf’s visit reminded me of those happier times as a boy.”
Angela Hedley, activities coordinator at The Oaks Care Home, said: “Animal therapy sessions are fantastic for elderly residents, particularly those living with dementia, as they can inspire fond memories and have a positive effect on their mood and wellbeing.
“Smurf has visited the home before but residents loved seeing him again and this time Raymond Dixon started telling us about his childhood memories mucking out the horses and riding the horse and cart for his granddad’s business.
“It was lovely to see the smiles on everyone’s faces as they got to meet Smurf and stroke him. We’d like to say a big thank you to Mini Pony Hire for visiting.”