Pony visits seniors to boost spirits

Pony visits Long-Term Care home dressed for Valentine's Day.

By Donna McMillan

IT’S not every wintry white day that a pony shows up at the windows of a Long- Term Care home dressed to the nines and sporting lots of Valentine bling.

But, that was the case on Sunday at Parkview Meadows Retirement Village.

Port Doverite Colleen Lindsay – Druyff drove her 16-year-old Welsh pony, Bonita, to the Townsend home to pay an outside visit to residents inside at Gardenview.

Colleen Lindsay-Druyff and Marjorie Lindsay stand with Boni the horse.
Colleen Lindsay-Druyff, Boni and Marjorie Lindsay.

Boni, wearing her red and black winter coat for the chilly outing, was also accompanied on the window visits by Caroline Potts of Waterford and Marjorie Lindsay of Port Dover.

They were dressed for Valentine’s Day and carrying a Happy Valentine’s Day heart sign. To the delight of numerous residents, the group visited many windows and stopped for views through the glass.

For those tapping the windows on the second floor and motioning to move back, Boni also paraded further back to give everyone an opportunity to see her.

Residents waved and gave the thumbs up approval sign.

Marjorie mentioned this was a great opportunity for a special visit with a good family friend, Doug Love. Also while on tour, Boni met Bill Doyle, who was standing outside the window of his mother’s room, talking to her on the phone. Through his phone, set on speaker, Mary Doyle was able to speak to the group and show her appreciation to Boni.

A staff person thanked the group for the visit, saying residents were really enjoying it. Since they knew ahead the visit was going to happen, they were waiting by their windows in anticipation, she shared.

Horse visits residents through the window.
Caroline Potts, Marjorie Lindsay, Colleen Lindsay-Druyff and Mary Doyle through the glass.

For Colleen, “it was a gift of love,” she told the Maple Leaf. Earlier in the week, Colleen and Caroline had also taken Boni in her trailer to Brierwood Gardens LTC in Brantford where Caroline’s mother resides.

While not an official therapy pony, Boni’s visits certainly boosts the spirits of many.


Originally published February 17, 2021

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