Animal Adventures, Out With Animals

New Adventure: Out With Animals

 

Welcome to Out With Animals!

On my blog, Ok Then What’s Next, I took part in a Christmas project for Post Pals. Post Pals is a charity where people can send post to children with severe or life threatening illnesses. As an adult with a chronic illness, I know how much it lifts my spirits to receive fun post- and I’m an adult! So volunteering to pretend to be a reindeer and send post in December seemed like a lot of fun and I knew it would help lift someone’s mood.

I love knitting and I have to spend a lot of time at home due to illness. So I decided to knit small animals, send them out on adventures, and write short stories about them. Then post them on to one of the Post Pals children, who can read the story, take the animal on an adventure of their own and write their own story and share their photos if they want to. They can also see what other animals have been up to on this blog, Twitter or Instagram.

Because I have a chronic illness too, it might take a while to get up and running, and there might be some time delays if I’m having a bad spell. I might also need some help taking the animals out and taking photos of their adventures- so let me know if you want to be involved!

Twitter: @OutWithAnimals

Instagram: @OutWithAnimals

Email: okthenwhatsnext@outlook.com

img_9259

 

Advertisements
Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Christmas Adventures: Dasher the Donkey

Hello

My name is Dasher the Donkey and I am a Christmas Donkey. I can hear you saying in your heads ‘Dasher isn’t a donkey’s name, it’s a reindeer’s name!’, but it’s also my name! Dasher the Reindeer is one of my very distant cousins.

Christmas Donkeys have a slightly different job to reindeer at the North Pole. It’s our job to visit shops and make sure that they’ve got the perfect Christmas gifts ready for Christmas. It’s not just about toys and games and children’s presents (although those are very important), there are lots of people who like to receive lots of different presents, and it’s my job to make sure they’re available in the shops, no matter how strange they are!

The first thing I do is to check with some of my in-shop employees. To everyone else, they look like part of the grotto, but they’re secretly working for me.

24891741_10157359625354815_2116845421_n

The Santa in the plant pot is my first set of eyes on the ground. He said there were a lot more people coming and going this time of year, and they were wanting to buy some unusual things we hadn’t been 100% certain of- apparently pineapples and flamingos are all the rage at the moment- who knew?!

24989235_10157359625444815_61462220_n

The deer said that the presents in the grotto had gone down very well this year with the children. I was pleased about this because I’d done a lot of research into what children liked this year. She was also very excited that reindeer seemed to be making a come back on the presents list (I don’t think she likes flamingos much). She showed me some festive bedding…

24899240_10157359625414815_791886127_n

….and some reindeer table decorations.

24891589_10157359625359815_1852626007_n

I agreed with her that these all looked great! The Polar Bear said that not all reindeer had been well behaved though.

24898865_10157359625439815_619896474_n

Apparently, one of the reindeer employees of mine had been causing havoc with the Christmas trees!

24899088_10157359625474815_1164549437_n

He’d been knocking decorations off!

24891827_10157359625534815_210274335_n

I had to do some hasty redecorating!

24891795_10157359625419815_419707211_n

One of the other donkeys helped me out. Probably a good thing otherwise it would have taken me ages! This is why donkeys are so much better than reindeer…

24829519_10157359625514815_501147055_n

Finally, we just had some presents to put out under the tree. Phew!

24898895_10157359625674815_1638905423_n

Everyone likes to receive presents, but I like to give presents too. Sometimes people don’t think much about what the person receiving the gift likes, and you end up with some strange presents. Like, I got given these reindeer boots one year:

24829415_10157359625479815_2123037157_n

I think they were meant for my reindeer cousin Dasher- I am a donkey, why would I wear rudolph boots!? I explain this every year when I train my employees. I personally like to draw and colour things, as well as play with lego. It would therefore be silly to get me a Disney Princess doll for Christmas- which is what Dasher the Reindeer would really like for Christmas. It’s the thought that counts- some of the best presents are homemade ones, or ones which don’t cost a lot but the person has bought you something which you really like.

I was pretty happy with the range of gifts on offer, so I said that Polar Bear was in charge of keeping things running smoothly… and keeping an eye on the reindeer!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Christmas Adventures: Peace the Polar Bear

Hello

My name is Peace the Polar Bear, and I’ve been on a Christmas adventure looking for Santa. Unlike some of my other animal friends, who only know about Santa and elves at Christmas, I actually know a lot about the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus- hence my name- Christmas is a time of Peace. There are lots of Christmas songs written about ‘peace on earth’ and being kind. So I decided to go on a Christmas adventure to see if I could find and track down Santa Claus!

IMG_6104

IMG_6038

I enlisted some friends to help me- Harry and Jack. They suggested we started off looking for clues around the house.

IMG_6108

We found the model Santa House they have at home. But model Santa said he hadn’t seen the ‘real’ santa this year yet.

IMG_6109

Neither had the Gromits (from Wallace & Gromit). They said they’d tried extra hard with their Christmas costumes this year to see if Santa would drop by early, but he hadn’t been yet. They suggested trying outside.

IMG_6040

Christmas Light Rudolph and Santa said they’d seen the reindeer flying overhead practising their manoeuvres ready for Christmas Eve, but it hadn’t been with Santa. Just the reindeer by themselves. Harry and Jack could see I was getting disappointed, so offered me some of their Auntie Nikki’s birthday cake to cheer me up.

IMG_6048

Hopefully she didn’t mind me eating too much of it!

I was feeling re-energised, so we headed back out on our search for Santa. He wasn’t at the German Market.

IMG_6047

And he didn’t come to a fancy dinner someone had planned for their guests.

IMG_6036

Where could he be?! Harry, Jack and me were scratching our heads a bit trying to work out why he was so hard to track down. Everywhere had signs saying ‘santa’s here’ or ‘santa stop here’. What if he didn’t show up?!

IMG_6105

I chatted to some polar bear friends who said that they thought they’d seen him in the grotto. Good idea! So we headed there.

IMG_6035

This was definitely a very festive place. Even before we got close I could feel the magic in the air.

IMG_6034

We double checked with the penguins and they said Santa had been past today. How exciting!

IMG_6106

The snowman helped show us the way and confirmed what the penguins had said…

IMG_6037

… but when we got there, the ‘real’ Santa had gone! I asked this Santa what the deal was- why were there lots of ‘fake’ Santas around? We wanted to meet the real one! He told us it’s because Santa is a magical being and is a really important person. He can’t possibly be everywhere at once greeting children, handing out presents, making presents with the elves at the North Pole, training reindeer… so he chooses the things that are most important to him and then gives the other tasks to other people. Like the chief elves and reindeer, or all the helpers chosen to wear Santa’s uniform. This made a lot of sense. But what counts as a task which Santa himself would do? He said visiting children in hospital, or charity events or visiting children who really need cheering up. The real Santa quite often showed up to grottos and other places too, but that was part of the North Pole Magic- keeping the secret. It wouldn’t be quite so magical if Santa just showed up whenever anyone wanted him to!

I told him that I was on an adventure for a Postpals child and asked if Santa would be able to visit them. He checked his list and said that they were right near the top. That’s great! Even if I couldn’t meet Santa, I could make sure that he’d visit them on Christmas Eve.

Santa said that the reindeer would probably be tired by the time they got to the house, so we should make preparations to leave a treat for them. I said that I knew all about reindeer needing treats- one of my best friends is Sven the reindeer (you might have seen him starring in the film frozen) and he’s constantly hungry! He bought me my blue scarf, which matches Elsa’s dress. Sven likes to eat carrots, so we figured the other reindeer probably would too.

IMG_6107

As we were heading back home, Jack, Harry and I came across these two people dressed as Santa. They were running! And they looked pretty slim for Santas- Santa usually has a big belly which wobbles when he laughs! They said they were doing a Santa Dash, where lots of people dress up as Santa and raise money for charity. I had a little smile to myself, because I betted that the real Santa was probably there too since we found out he likes to go to charity events- but no one would know he was there because everyone would look the same as him in their Santa suits!

IMG_6044

They had to dash off though. Speaking of which, I’d best get myself to a Postpals child ready for Christmas so I can make sure we leave out reindeer treats out! I said bye to Harry and Jack and headed off. Hopefully I’ll catch a glimpse of Santa soon!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Christmas Adventures: Pudding the Penguin

Hello

My name is Pudding the Penguin, and I’ve been out and about trying to find the perfect Christmas decorations for my friend’s house. Christmas isn’t too far away and I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect! So I went shopping with my friends to see what I could find.

There are many different ways you can choose to decorate your house. Personally I think the bigger the better. But not everyone agrees!

This snowman looked like a cheery chap but there isn’t anywhere to put him sadly.

I spied some seals in a shop window and thought we could maybe do something like this too. But my friends said that our windows were a lot smaller and also shops like to have big, lavish displays whereas we were after something a bit more personal.

I tried to persuade them to buy an ice skating polar bear but they said it was a bad idea because polar bears and penguins don’t tend to agree and they thought we might argue!

I was getting a bit confused by this point- the snowman was too big, the polar bear might fight with me (or eat me!) and there were too many seals. What else could we decorate the house with?!

I found some festive friends…

… who were just hanging about. I asked them what they were doing and they said lots of people buy decorations which they can hang on either a Christmas tree or from the mantelpiece. Aha! That’s an idea! So I started looking for hanging decorations.

These baubles would be perfect! I tried to buy the whole basket but my friends told me that we should get one or two of these ones and then buy some different ones.

I got confused again- why did the shops sell lots and lots of the same thing if we were only buying one! I asked this herd of reindeer and they said it’s because some people like to have matching Christmas trees and houses so everything looks the same but the coolest Christmas trees don’t have colour themes or matching ornaments. The best trees have personal touches or special decorations. For example, if there are kids in the house, they might make their own decorations to make it look extra special.

This made sense so I found some more tree decorations to buy…

Now we had lots of varied decorations! We walked past a group of people carol singing when we left the shop.

They sang a song about Santa and then a song about angels. I asked one of them how the angels help Santa out at Christmas.

She said that Santa might be the person who brings us presents, but the reason why we celebrate Christmas is because it’s the birthday of Jesus, who is the son of God. She said not everyone believes in God or Jesus and that’s ok, but it’s important to know that christmas is a time for being generous, thinking of other people and spending time with family, because that’s the kind of morals that Jesus had.

I decided that since I was decorating a house for the first time, I should make sure that I have all aspects of Christmas covered- not just the penguins and polar bears, I also wanted to include a bit of the Christmas story about the birth of Jesus.

This is called a nativity and shows the people who came to visit Jesus when he was born. The angels told people like the shepherds and the kings that Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph were his parents but I was struggling to see how the cows and donkeys fitted in! If they could have donkeys, why couldn’t I have an ice skating polar bear?!

My friends told me it’s because Mary and Joseph were travelling when Jesus was born and there weren’t any places for them to stay, except for in a stable with the cows and the donkeys.

We figured we had enough decorations by now so we headed home to start decorating!

There were lots of things to hang on the tree! While we were decorating, we listened to some more Christmas songs.

Tada! What do you think? I particularly like the way the lights male the ornaments glitter and shine.

The decorations stay up until just after Christmas and then we take them down and keep them safe for the next year.

I’m off to a postpal for Christmas now- I wonder how they’ll have decorated where they live!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Christmas Adventures: Rudolph

Hello

My name is Rudolph and I’m one of Santa’s reindeers. He sent me to spend some time with Jemima, Noah and Isaac to help them prepare for Christmas. I know we’re extremely busy at the North Pole at this time of year, but I was really surprised at how much there is to do in houses before Christmas!

First things first, I was introduced to the people I was staying with. There are three children in this house. Jemima is the youngest, Isaac is the oldest and Noah is in the middle. They showed me around and introduced me to some of their toys.

IMG_5982

They had a Santa in their house, but he isn’t the real Santa. ‘You just wait until you meet the real Santa,’ I said, ‘he’s so much better in real life!’

IMG_5990

The next thing we did was write Christmas Cards to our friends and family. Isaac said it’s a way of showing people you’re thinking about them at Christmas time, even if you live far away. Some of them we’d need to post, others we could give in person. It was quite fun really- some of the pictures on the front were really glittery!

IMG_5986

The following day, we put the Christmas tree up. This was really exciting! So exciting that Isaac and Noah got wrapped up in the lights!

IMG_5962

Jemima helped them untangle them. We decided it would probably be best if she took chief christmas tree decorating role, since she was the only one who didn’t get caught in the lights!

IMG_5989

What do you think? I think we did a pretty good job! We needed help from their Dad to be able to put the ornaments on the highest branches. Even standing on chairs we weren’t tall enough!

I was quite happily snoozing the night before December began when I was woken up by something. I turned on the light and found some elves! I asked them what they were doing here, because I thought all elves had to be at the North Pole helping to make presents at this time of year, and they said they were special elves. These elves stay with a family before Christmas and report back to Santa.

IMG_5987

They get up to a lot of things at night time. They particularly enjoyed playing with the lego! They left the table really untidy when Jemima, Isaac and Noah came downstairs the next morning. And then they tried to blame it on me! Naughty elves!

IMG_5992

We made friends by the end of my time there though. They’re quite funny really…

The tree was looking great, but we needed to put some presents underneath it. Which meant we had to wrap them up first.

IMG_5983

I kept getting sellotape stuck to my antlers, so I decided to have a rest with one of the elves and watch everyone else.

IMG_5991

The final thing we did to prepare for Christmas, was to watch the Christmas lights in the town being turned on. This was really exciting! Everyone stood outside and there was a countdown and when we said ‘3, 2, 1’ all of the magical Christmas lights came on! Then Santa arrived! I think he knew he needed to stop and visit because of all the bright lights.

IMG_5984

He was very pleased to see me. Jemima and Noah agreed that it was really exciting to meet the real Santa, rather than the one they have at home. He also gave us some presents because he’d seen how much work we’d put into getting ready for Christmas so far and was really impressed!

2017-12-03-PHOTO-00000029

I really enjoyed learning how people who don’t live in the North Pole get ready for Christmas. There seems to be a lot to do! I’m looking forward to helping a Postpal get ready for Christmas, no matter where they are. Even if they’re in hospital, I’ll be able to make sure Santa knows where they are to deliver his presents to them.

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Christmas Adventures: Angel Ga-bear-al

Hello

My name is the Angel Ga-bear-al. I’m a polar bear, and my name is a play on words between being a polar bear, and the Angel Gabriel, which is one of the key characters in the Christmas Nativity Story. Angels love light- we have halos which radiate light, some people believe we live in Heaven, which is filled with light, we wear billowing white robes which reflect light… So it made sense for me to visit a house which transforms itself into a Christmas light display every year for Christmas.

We began by getting all of the lights and decorations out to make sure we had everything and then started blowing up the inflatable ones and plugging things in.

24550498_1376575372454919_1396684275_n

I had a ride on a train, but was a bit confused as to why trains are associated with Christmas. Lizzie said it’s because it used to be a popular toy which children used to get as presents, before electronics and games consoles were around,

24337623_1376574752454981_1123247115_n

I also met some new friends, and we had fun sledging together, even though there was no snow!

24550580_1376575012454955_591504704_n

The told me to knock on the igloo door and see if there were any penguins who wanted to play, but they must have been out because no one answered!

24550572_1376575735788216_1074014509_n

The lights are quite easy to plug in, as long as you don’t get tangled up in the cables! The inflatables took a bit longer, because we had to blow them up AND plug them in. Thankfully, there was a machine to help, otherwise I think I might get out of puff trying to do it without! Once they were inflated, I noticed a really important sign.

24580952_1376575225788267_606434378_n

I think the amount of lights would have been enough to tell Santa that there is a magical house here and he needs to visit, but now he definitely can’t miss it! I also found some more inflatable friends to chat with.

24331516_1376575205788269_396058892_n

They invited me to ride on the carousel with them, and as we were going round and round, I saw an angel lighting up the garden. Obviously I had to speak to her!

24331471_1376575419121581_524112178_n

She said that lights and Christmas decorations have to cover the whole house, not just the outside. So I headed inside to make sure that inside was just as sparkly as outside. There was a big Christmas Tree, all in white- the same colour as me!

24726553_1376575482454908_1235725121_n

And also a little Christmas tree, which I played hide and seek in for a while. Can you spot me?!

24337664_1376575485788241_867486781_n

There were even festive cushions!

24337325_1376575859121537_2061152337_n

Lizzie said I didn’t have time for a nap and lifted me up and put me in a glowing ball, so I could check out everything from above.

24581007_1376575799121543_11480993_n

She joked with me that she was going to leave me in there! How would I get out?! Thankfully, a penguin, a snowman and Santa came to my rescue.

24550393_1376575502454906_1901327301_n

They told me that if I headed outside, I might be able to see a very special visitor who was coming around to make sure we were all set up…

24726874_1376575729121550_325420179_n

Santa! He said he came in a plane today because Rudolph and the other reindeer were resting up to make sure that they have enough energy to fly all around the world on Christmas Eve, delivering presents to all of the children. He said he was very impressed with the way we’d decorated the house and that it was not only the best on the street, but maybe even the best he’d seen so far this year! We were all very proud. Because this house was the brightest, he asked Lizzie if she would be able to make a list of all of the children who might be in hospital over Christmas, so that he can make sure to add those to his delivery list. Then, he’ll come back on Christmas Eve to pick up the list and visit those children.

24337445_1376575875788202_399548726_n

I stood back and had a look at our handiwork, and I definitely agreed with Santa- the house looked amazing! Thank you Lizzie and her husband for letting me help out with the decorating, I’m looking forward to visiting a Postpal and seeing how they celebrate Christmas now!

 

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

How does Out With Animals choose where the Animals are sent?

3rd December is the International Day for Persons With a Disability. Originally, I used to only send animals to children who were/are seriously ill through Postpals, most of whom have disabilities or have disabilities as a result of their medical condition(s). Now I send animals to vulnerable children as well, based in Dominica and Nepal, but because it’s a day for disabilities today, I’m going to talk about how I allocate the animals to the different Postpals. I’ll do another post another time on how I decide which charity to send the different animals to 🙂

Every postpal has their own profile on the postpals website. It has information on their age, conditions, their story, their likes and dislikes and also information about any disabilities they have. It might seem like I randomly choose a pal, but, having been a teacher, I try to allocate the animals taking into account a few things.

– age is usually the first thing I look at. If the story is about an animal spending time with a young child, I try to match their ages. Or if the story is based around the animal exploring something cultural or historical, I might look for an older child.

– some of the pals have developmental delay, which means that they might be better suited to a story aimed at a slightly younger age than their actual age.

– I don’t usually send animals based on gender eg I send girl animals to boys and vice versa, regardless of colour or story content. I do, however, look at the pals’ interests and favourite colour- I wouldn’t send an animal who’d been on a dance adventure to a pal who only likes superheroes, for example!

– some of the pals can’t read but like being read to or looking at the pictures. Some animals have more photos in their stories than others. So it depends on their age and if they have any developmental delay.

– other pals might be blind or partially sighted, so I try to allocate them an animal which has clear features which they can feel when holding it, and fewer photos in the story, so that if it’s read to them they aren’t missing parts because they can’t see the photos.

– some pals respond well to different textures, things which are tactile or bright colours. So if I have an animal which has different types of fur or wool used, I might send those to these pals specifically.

– a few of the pals need support to hold things or have difficulties using their hands, so I tend to send larger animals to these children so that it’s easier for them to play with or hold the animal.

– lots of the postpals have allergies or compromised immune systems. So I sometimes make duplicate animals to post to them rather than sending the animal which has been sent out on an adventure, or wash the animal before sending it. The animal is never going to be allergy or germ free, but if I can help I try!

– some children aren’t able to eat certain foods or are fed TPN. It would therefore be insensitive to send an animal who ate a lot of different foods on its adventure to a child who isn’t able to eat! There are also some cultural needs to take into account as well- eg some religions place particular importance on certain animals or can’t eat or touch other animals. I wouldn’t send a pig to a child I knew was Jewish, for example.

– I try to match the pal’s interests with the animal’s story. One pal particularly likes castles, so he was sent an animal which had been to a Castle. Another liked ballet so was sent an animal who’d been to a ballet lesson. I’m very conscious that the older children, particularly the boys, don’t get as much post. So I try to make sure that they’re sent animals regularly which match their interests.

That’s a lot of variables to take into account when sending animals, so I don’t always get it 100%, but I do try to take into account age, interests and disabilities when choosing who gets the different animals. The profiles the charity makes are really clear which makes it easier, and they’re updated regularly by parents/charity staff.

It’s worth going to the postpals website and reading some of the children’s stories, particularly if you have little experience of how people live with disabilities. Lots of the parents have Facebook blogs as well, which give a day to day insight into how their children live with their disabilities and what the different treatment plans are. Postpals doesn’t just send post to children who have physical disabilities or terminal illnesses like cancer, they also include pals with invisible illnesses, genetic illnesses, so far undiagnosed but nevertheless serious illnesses, children who have had or who are waiting for transplants… it’s a really inclusive charity!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Christmas Adventures: Tinsel the Turkey

Hello

My name is Tinsel the Turkey and I went on an adventure to Disney World in Florida on a special mission. Turkeys get a lot of bad press about being foolish birds, because we look quite comical with our dangly bits on our faces, but actually we’re really important in making sure Christmas runs smoothly! Santa’s Elves always get all the credit though!

Anyway, my job is to make sure that places are decorated and sparkly and magical for Christmas. That’s why I’m called Tinsel! My job title is Christmas Inspector, or CI for short. Disney World is supposed to be the most magical place on Earth, so it’s so important that it looks festive.

When I first arrived, I wan’t overly impressed. The person who welcomed me was the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Now, if you know the story, you know that the beast ends up being friendly. But he doesn’t look friendly! And he’s definitely not very festive looking! He was a bit grumpy too because he’d been told he had to wear his best clothes to greet me. He did look good in his suit, I had to admit, but his smile was more scary than friendly.

23315782_10156285955404523_231831021_n

I suggested maybe he wear an elf costume for when he’s greeting guests and I thought he might eat me! We decided that Chip the Teacup might be a better greeting option.

Beast took me around the park and showed me some of the places. It’s huge! Everywhere you go there are shops and rides and exhibitions. Lots of places to decorate! I wonder how they manage it, it’s a far bigger job than I imagined! Some places hadn’t even been touched by the festive magic yet…

23377053_10156285956004523_158408041_o

I didn’t see any decorations here. But other places had baubles and tinsel (my favourite) in the trees.

23314436_10156285960914523_1091463902_o

It was a start, but I felt that considering Hollywood is supposed to be all glitz and glam that they could have had some bright lights in the trees too. I took Beast into one of the shops to show him what I meant.

23314103_10156285963604523_160822256_o

He said that some of the trees had tinsel in (my favourite)…

23316072_10156285961599523_194378054_n

… but I also should bear in mind that people were still wearing Summer clothes so it was hard to think about Christmas when it was still so warm! Beast took me to another tree which had bows in:

23318515_10156285958164523_584275545_n

I loved the fact that it looks like Mickey Mouse ears! This is more like it, this is what I imagined a magical, Disney Christmas would look like! Beast seemed cheered up by this and said that he knew of another place which I’d like.

23336186_10156285956864523_681714417_o

Look at all the tinsel and baubles and colours here! I loved it. I even snuck on stage to have my photo taken, since I’ve always dreamed of being a Turkey Performer. However, all the tinsel was silver. As a Christmas Inspector, I’d not be doing my job properly if I said that it was ok to have all of the tinsel the same colour everywhere. So I took Beast back to the shop to show him something which had a few more colours in.

23315973_10156285964059523_1797053721_n

This one even had Peacock feathers in. Personally, I do not get on with Peacocks- as far as birds go, they’re a bit vain and don’t contribute to the bird world much except for puffing their feathers out and looking pretty. But I had to admit that the feathers gave the wreath an added something.

While we were in the shop, we ran into Mickey and Mini Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy, and had a chat.

23335986_10156285963269523_1050764743_o

They were all dressed for Christmas! This got a big tick on my CI check list. I said I was worried about how long it was going to take to decorate the park for Christmas- things were moving slowly and Disney World is huge!

Mickey rolled his eyes and said that we didn’t have to decorate by hand, and that he knew just the Fairy who could help us out. Of course! Tinker Bell! Why didn’t we think of her sooner?! He sent Pluto to fetch her, but he got a bit excited and started running to get her before we’d finished taking the photos.

Tinker Bell was a bit grumpy when she’s summoned, but I soon won her over. I explained what I wanted to see and she immediately flew outside and waved her wand. By the time I got outside, the whole park looked like this:

23316010_10156285958454523_347543067_n

Brilliant! Tinsel, baubles and lights- all different colours, and on a giant, magical scale. This is exactly what I wanted! I thanked Tinker Bell, who was looking very pleased with herself, and also said thank you to Beast for showing me around.

As far as Christmas Inspections go, we got there in the end. I’m heading back to the UK now to start my inspections of houses, since most people will start putting the decorations up soon. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, or in hospital or at school- there always needs to be a little bit of tinsel and sparkle around Christmas Time!

Thank you to Hayley and Rachel for taking Tinsel on his adventure. 

Out With Animals, Uncategorized

Thank You- Kenilworth Chiropractic Clinic

Kenilworth Chiropractic Clinic are huge friends of the animals. Pretty much every member of staff who works there has taken at least one animal out on an adventure, some have taken more, and others have even got their friends involved! Thanks to the staff volunteering, the animals have been on adventures all over the place- from Bali to Warwick Castle. There are also animals going to the Dominican Republic, Florida and Australia in the near future with staff. I should probably also say thank you to the spouses and families who have also got caught up in the adventures- whether they wanted to or not!

They’ve also made donations to the project, so that materials like wool and stuffing can be bought to make the animals, and also to help with postage costs to the three charities I send animals to- PostPals for seriously ill children in the UK, Help for Dominica and Keta Keti Avenir, an orphanage in Nepal.

I’m really grateful to the staff for being so enthusiastic about and supportive of Out With Animals, but also, on a personal note, they treat me really well as a patient. It’s because everyone there is really approachable and friendly that I’ve managed to persuade them all to take animals out, but it’s because they genuinely care about the people they treat and what goes on in their lives that they’ve been so supportive of me in my venture setting Out With Animals up. Bex, in particular, has been a sounding board for ideas and helping get other people involved. I wasn’t sure it was going to work as a concept, but Bex’s confidence in me gave me the confidence to give it a go! Plus she’s also an amazing chiropractor 🙂

I haven’t been paid to write this, by the way, it’s an overdue post to say thank you to one of Out With Animal’s main supporters. But, if you do happen to need a chiropractor in the West Midlands, or have chronic pain, I really highly recommend Kenilworth Chiropractic Clinic! Out of all of my treatment plans for my adrenal insufficiency, it’s the one that makes the biggest difference to my daily quality of life.

So thank you from the animals and thank you from me for everything that you do!

Here are some photos of the animals the staff have taken out on adventures:

img_5705

Ali the Alligator is off to Florida with Bex and Tim

img_5714

Bevan the Bear is currently adventuring with Pete’s son, Forbes

img_5433

Jemima, Noah and Isaac looked after Clara the Cheetah in half term with their Mum, Jess

image4

Pablo the Panda went to Spain with Cate

img_4300

Ursula the Unicorn has been spending time with Sue and her family

img_4061

Mitchell the Meerkat hasn’t been on his adventure yet, because Monarch cancelled his flight when they went bust!

img_4401

Chelsea the Cheetah has been hanging out with Adam

img_2344-1Eloise the Elephant helped Bex out in clinic

img_2323

Colin the Caterpillar spent some time with Becky, and Ping the Panda went to Bali with Becky too!

img_3029

 

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Sylvie le Serpent: Besançon (Français)

(For the English version, click here)

Bonjour

Je m’appelle Sylvie le Serpent et J’irai à Nepal pour visiter l’orphelinat. Nepal est loin d’Angleterre, donc je visite la France avant, où je rencontre tous mes nouveaux amis qui m’accompagneront.
J’ai voulu conduire la voiture, une très mignonne Peugeot mais tellement minuscule … Le problème c’est qu’ici ils roulent Ă  droite et comme je suis gauchère, cela a Ă©tĂ© plutĂ´t compliquĂ© pour passer les vitesses.

IMG_4314

Marie-Thé est m’a accueilli chez elle. J’ai connu le propriétaire du balcon: Monsieur Troll.

IMG_4294

Le soir, nous sommes allĂ©s Ă  un Ă©vĂ©nement destinė à collecter des fonds pour l’orphelinat. J’ai eu le privilège d’ĂŞtre prÄ—sentÄ—e Ă  Pasang le prĂ©sident de KKA, une association française qui travaille Ă  construire un nouveau bâtiment pour l’orphelinat dont ils s’occupent Ă  KTM au NÄ—pal.

IMG_4316

Pasang est très gentil mais dotĂ© d’un sens de l’humour un peu Ä—trange :il m’a pris pour un micro sans fil!

IMG_4315

Nous avons mangĂ© un repas nĂ©palais. J’ai goĂ»tĂ© Ă  tous les plats avant tout le monde afin de pouvoir dire Ă  mon amie française si c’Ă©tait bon ou pas.

IMG_4320

Le matin suivant, nous avons visitĂ© les sites touristiques Ă  Besançon. J’ai fait la connaissance d’une sculpture de Ousmane Sow que mon amie française adore.

IMG_4334

J’ai rĂ©ussi Ă  manoeuvrer l’Ă©cluse sur le canal du RhĂ´ne au Rhin pour aider ce pauvre bateau qui Ä—tait perdu.

21731017_10214129878139960_1369379670369323271_n

Sur le Doubs il y avait un bateau qui fait le Tour de France en utilisant les canaux, les rivières pour aller jusqu’Ă  la mer.IMG_4371

Je me suis bien amusÄ—e Ă  la CitĂ© des Arts juste Ă  cĂ´tĂ© de la rivière puis Ă  regarder le mur d’expression libre oĂą les artistes de street art s’en donnent Ă  coeur joie mais je pense que je ne suis pas douĂ©e pour ça.

IMG_4373

IMG_4375

Au fond la cathédrale Saint Jean

IMG_4376

Et soudain je me suis trouvÄ—e au paradis : une rue habitÄ—e par beaucoup de gens comme moi : c’est merveilleux !

IMG_4377

Je savais que j’avais Ă©tĂ© faite au crochet mais je ne savais pas que je rencontrerais des frères et soeurs Ă  Besançon.

IMG_4378

Il se peut que je passe le week-end prochain avec eux.

IMG_4380

Faire le tourisme est fatigant! Nous avons fait une pause à ce cafe.

IMG_4382

Le propriĂ©taire du cafĂ© a dit merci quand mon amie française lui a montrĂ© la photo et lui a dit qu’il serait bientĂ´t cĂ©lèbre en Angleterre.

Voici la maison natale de Victor Hugo, qui était un auteur et écrivain très important.

IMG_4389

Et voici Jouffroy d’Abbans, un autre célèbre de Besancon, sur le pont Battant.

IMG_4404

Nous avons traversĂ© le pont battant – tout au fond le cĂ©lèbre CLA, au fond Ă  gauche le LycĂ©e Pasteur, en bas le Doubs.

IMG_4406

j’ai passĂ© un moment extraordinaire Ă  la mÄ—diathèque Pierre Bayle: j’ai tournĂ© un film avec la camĂ©ra privĂ©e des Frères Lumière,ce qui est un privilège très rare.

IMG_4442

IIs ont inventé le cinéma en 1895. Il y a beaucoup de gens célèbres qui viennent d’ici!

IMG_4443

Le pauvre jardinier arrosant ses fleurs n’a pas vu qu’un gamin facĂ©tieux avait posĂ© le pied sur le tuyau d’arrosage et quand il essaie de voir ce qui se passe, devinez ce que le gamin fait ..

IMG_4444

IMG_4446

C’est le premier film tournĂ© et montrĂ© Ă  un public dans l’histoire du cinĂ©ma, intitulĂ© L’arroseur arrosĂ©.

Nous avons passes des heures merveilleuses Ă  la librairie: j’ai rencontrĂ© Petit Ours Brun avec lequel j’ai eu une conversation très intellectuelle….

IMG_4460

des mecs complètement farfelus avec lesquels j’ai jouĂ©,..

IMG_4461

IMG_4462

Mon jeu préféré est Chien pourri.

IMG_4463

Je cherchais un bouquin de philo, je l’ai trouvĂ© :Tout le monde fait caca. MĂŞme le monstre du Loch Ness ! J’Ă©tais un peu triste de ne pas ĂŞtre dedans.

C’est le fin de la premiere partie de mon histoire, mais n’inquiète pas, je te diras mes aventures bientĂ´t! Merci pour ton hospitalitĂ©, Marie-ThĂ©!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Sylvie the Snake: Besancon (English)

(Version Française, clique ici)

Hello

My name is Sylvie the Snake, and I am heading to Nepal to spend time in an Orphanage. It takes a long time to travel to Nepal, so I’m visiting France first, where I’ll meet my new friends before starting my journey. I wanted to drive the car, a very nice Peugeot, but so tiny…The problem is that here they drive on the right and since I am left-handed it was rather difficult to change gears

IMG_4314

Marie-The is looking after me and showed me round her home. She introduced me to Mr Troll, the keeper of the balcony.

IMG_4294

Marie-Thé took me to a fundraiser for the orphanage and I was honoured to be introduced to Pasang Lama the President of Keta Keti Avenir, which is a French charity working to build a new orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal.

IMG_4316

He is a very kind person but with a strange sense of humour : he pretended I wasn’t a snake but a wireless microphone!

IMG_4315

We also ate some Nepalese food. I tasted the dishes before everyone so I could tell my French friends if they were any good or not.

IMG_4320

The next morning, we went out to explore the town where Marie-Thé. We had a look at a statue which she loves, called Ousmane-Sow.

IMG_4334

I managed to open the lock on the canal linking the River Rhine to River RhĂ´ne to help this poor boat which was lost.

21731017_10214129878139960_1369379670369323271_n

On the River Doubs, there was a boat doing Le Tour de France using just canals and rivers before getting to the sea.

IMG_4371

I had fun looking at the street art.

IMG_4373

You’re allowed to graffiti on this wall. I gave it a go, but I don’t think I’m very good at it.

IMG_4375

In the background, you can see the St John’s Cathedral.

IMG_4376And suddenly I was in heaven! A street with lots of people and creatures just like me!

IMG_4377

I’m made of wool too, but I didn’t know I would meet brothers and sisters in Besançon.

IMG_4378

I’ll have to try to find more of my friends while I’m here.

IMG_4379

Sight-seeing is tiring! So we had a break at this cafe.

IMG_4382The owner of the café was pleased when my French friend showed him the photo and told him that he would be famous in England very soon.

Here’s the house where Victor Hugo was born. He was a very important and famous writer in France.

IMG_4389

And here’s Jouffroy d’Abbans, another famous french person who came from Besançon.

IMG_4404

We crossed the bridge and you could see a lot of the town- the languages centre, one of the big schools in the town, Lycée Pasteur, and the River Doubs.

IMG_4406I found some more of my friends! These ones I found in a secret passage. There were decorations all over the railings, pipes- anywhere they could wrap wool!

IMG_4408

IMG_4409

I had a great time at the media centre-  I shot a film using the Lumière Brothers’ very own camera which is really a very rare privilege.

IMG_4442

They invented the cinema in 1895 and were also born in Besançon. So many famous people come from here!

IMG_4443

The poor gardener who’s watering the flowers hasn’t seen that a cheeky boy is putting his foot on the hosepipe… And then when he goes to check why the water isn’t working, the boy takes his foot off and he gets soaked!

 

IMG_4446
This was the first film ever shot and shown in the history of the cinema, entitled L’arroseur arrosĂ©.

IMG_4444

On our final day in Besançon, I spent a lovely few hours at a bookshop: I met Petit Ours Brun (Little Brown Bear) and we had a very intellectual conversation….

IMG_4460

…. then I played with some strange but funny guys…

IMG_4461

 

IMG_4462

My favourite game is definitely Chien Pourri which means Rotten dog.

IMG_4463

The best book I bought is ‘Tout le monde fait caca’ which means Everybody has a poo, even The Loch Ness monster! But I was not in the book which made me sad.

This is the end of the first part of my story, but don’t worry, I’ll be back telling you more of my adventures with some new friends! Thank you Marie-ThĂ© for showing me around Besançon!