Star and I have been a registered Pet Partners team for two years now. At home, Star is a typical mini horse who loves to play and get dirty. But once she gets clean and we put her therapy vest on her, she becomes a totally different horse who far exceeds our expectations as a therapy horse.

We visit children’s hospitals, nursing homes, Ronald McDonald Houses and various schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Star loves going on visits with her pals, Pet Partners registered therapy animals, Daisy Mae the pig and Jazz the mini horse. On visits, Star will happily stand still for hour-long visits, but she especially loves her #WalkWithMe time with patients in need of an exercise partner.

Perhaps Star’s favorite part of being a therapy animal is the love and affection she receives from her human friends. She is gentle and sweet to everyone she meets and has a naturally calm presence. In fact, Star is so relaxed on visits that she often falls asleep when people pet and love on her. During a recent visit to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, she fell asleep as patients pet her and gushed over her cuteness. She just closed her eyes, took in all the attention and before we knew it, it was lights out for our sweet girl! This made the patients and me laugh. Awake or asleep, Star brings endless smiles and unconditional love to every single patient and staff member that she meets on our visits.

As her handler, I am very blessed to watch Star work her magic and touch the heart of every patient she meets.

Story provided by Melanie Long