Some Pig! Some Impact! Buttercup!

Some pig! I remember when my husband called me and asked, “are you sure you want this little guy? He looks a bit, well, ugly and uptight.” Taking a look at the picture myself I had no choice but to agree. You see, Buttercup was living in Texas, all we had to go on was his picture and the breeder’s reputation. We decided to go ahead and get him in spite of his homely appearance.

He came to use one April evening via the San Francisco airport; there were many people at the special baggage claim area collecting their dogs and cats. We were there, but not for a dog or cat. We were picking up our new family member, Buttercup.

Everyone there was happy to see their four legged friends, but they were also intrigued by the itty-bitty crate, and what was in it, “a guinea pig!” said a man “A pig!” replied his wife “That small?” wondered a group of people. I should have known then, Buttercup would make an impact wherever he went.

That was 4 years ago! Today, he’s an accomplished therapy animal, certified by the Delta Society. He’s on Facebook, where he has many friends and fans. He has been on KQED’s “Bay Area People” with Rosie Chu. You can see that video here. His latest appearance is in November’s edition of Reader’s Digest. No student has forgotten, or stopped talking about Buttercup. That’s impressive coming from a child who before Buttercup would not talk or socialize with anyone. There is no denying the fact; he makes a long lasting impact wherever he goes.

Despite his fame and busy schedule, he always makes time for his family. He sits with us to watch a movie, so long as we can scratch him and watch at the same time. He sometimes sits at my feet and keeps me company while I’m typing away on the computer. During the winter, he loves to sit with us in front of the fireplace.

Buttercup is our friend, our pet and our co-worker, but most important of all he’s a family member. Judging by the amount of time he spends with us, he digs us too, after all the choice of going outdoors or staying inside is totally his.

The human animal bond can be traced back thousands of years. This bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship.

Working together with your animal friend to make a difference in someone’s life can be a very rewarding experience.

If you would like to know more about Animal Assisted Therapy or explore if this is something you would like to do, consider taking my AAT course. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

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