Tag Archives: Healing Whiskers

Healing Whiskers – Oliver, a pet therapy rat, brings smiles to people’s faces

Healing Whiskers – Oliver, a therapy pet rat, brings smiles on people’s faces

June is Post Traumatic Stress Awareness Month, and Paws for Reflection is devoting several posts to the benefits of pet therapy for those with PTSD, as well as others. At BlogPaws 2017, Paws for Reflection met Oliver, a therapy pet rat, and we reached out to Healing Whiskers for an Q&A interview.

Oliver, a pet therapy rat

 

The release of the move Meghan Leavy this month highlights the special bond between service dogs and people with PTSD. At Paws for Reflection, we know all animals can be beneficial as therapy pets, including cats. Here, we highlight, how Oliver, a pet rat, is a perfect therapy pet.

Oliver, a pet therapy rat

 

Tell me about you, Oliver and any other pets you have?

My name is Abby Chesnut, I have two blogs: Healing Whiskers and The Chesnut Mutts. I have two part-time jobs as a merchandiser and a postal carrier, and I’m also a volunteer photographer for our local animal control and rescues.

I live in Rome, Georgia with my boyfriend, Johnny, where we have two small mixed breed dogs, two fancy rats, and an aquatic snail. Jada and Bailey are the dogs, Oliver and Jasper are the rats, and Tyrone is the name of our snail.

Abby Chesnut with her pet therapy rat, Oliver. Abby has two blogs: Healing Whiskers and The Chesnut Mutts.

 

Oliver, a therapy pet rat

Oliver, a therapy pet rat, brings smiles to those he visits.

Teen and young adults love Oliver

How long have you had Oliver? Did you adopt him? How did you center upon him as a therapy pet? How long has he been a therapy pet? What types of places (hospitals, nursing homes, schools) do you visit?

Oliver just turned one years old in April. I actually got both him and his brother Oliver from a breeder in South Carolina. There isn’t an epidemic of unwanted pet rats so breeders are actually a great asset to the rat community to keep healthy rats in the gene pool for pets.

I was looking for a beautiful color and calm temperamenttraining. Jasper was originally going to be trained, but shortly after getting him he started to get seizures, so I picked up his brother Oliver to start training.

His training started as him being out of his cage, being outside, different environments. If he pottied he went back in, but if he held it he got a really great treat. So we took baby steps and I monitored to see if he could handle being a therapy animal. The environment is one thing, but people would be petting him too. So lots of work went into the rat he is today.

Registered as a therapy team in January

We just got registered as a therapy team in January and started doing a lot of finals week de-stress events at local colleges. Teens and young adults love Oliver! We are hoping to expand more into other venues, but public events and schools seem to work well for us.

(more…)

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Catpersonable BJ Bangs



At Paws for Reflection, we're serious about cats, writing about cat health, cat rescue and cat news. We delve into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. BJ is an award-winning blogger/journalist, communications professional and photographer.

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