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La Blobs Visit Mary Culver Home

by Sandy Gilfillan

Director of Marketing
The Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired

Sandy Gilfillan
Chicken Little Makes a New Friend
Sandy Gilfillan
Dixie Chix Says Yeah!
Sandy Gilfillan
Spring Chicken Says, "If Its Spring In Your Heart, It Counts."
Sandy Gilfillan
"So, That's Why I Crossed the Road!"
Sandy Gilfillan
"Yes, Right There, Please!"
Sandy Gilfillan
"No worry I Don't Bite. I just love that shade of red."
Sandy Gilfillan
"You should hear what those chicks did next!"
Sandy Gilfillan
Keiko: "Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold."

Dear Dorene,

Hello and a huge THANK YOU for coming to the Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired with your Silkie chickens. The ladies and the staff loved it beyond my wildest expectations! They all talked about the experience and marveled over the experience for days afterward, which is unusual given the short memories around here. I really appreciate your coming and working your magic. Here’s my "official" testimony. Feel free to edit it and use anything I’ve said in this e-mail.

Sincerely, Sandy Gilfillawn

When I told the ladies of the Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired that we had arranged an activity session with chickens, they were apprehensive. After all, many of the women had grown up on working farms, and the idea of chickens was not synonymous with ‘fun.’

Curiosity ruled the day, however, and a good-sized group showed up at the activity session to check out the scene.

The room fell silent when Dorene Olson arrived with four Silkie chickens nestled in a canvas carrying case with windows. She reached in, brought out the rooster, and introduced him to the group. While introducing the chickens individually, Dorene gave a brief history of the breed and their characteristics.

One resident interrupted her to say, ‘My lap is ready and waiting! I’d rather listen with a chicken in my lap.’ At that point everyone demanded a chicken.

Dorene deftly settled chickens into laps and continued answering all the questions that flew at her. The ladies were absolutely delighted with both Dorene and the chickens.

‘They’re so calm,’ remarked one woman.

‘Like sleeping kittens,’ observed another.

‘These are not my mother’s chickens!’ exclaimed one of the older women who uses a wheelchair.

Pretty soon the activity room saw an increase in foot traffic as staff members stopped by to see the chickens and then returned to the halls to round up ladies who don’t normally attend the activity sessions. Everybody got a big kick out of the fact that the chickens laid two eggs on the drive over to the home. They passed the still-warm eggs around with the same excitement as if they were chickens.

Our activity sessions normally last one hour.

This one lasted almost two and only broke up because nothing -not even captivating chickens!- will induce the ladies to miss lunch. The Mary Culver ladies said their good-byes by begging Dorene to return.

Surprising to us is how deeply imprinted her visit was for the ladies. A week later they were still talking about her and the chickens. This is no small feat in a residence for the elderly, where memory loss is the norm. We will definitely invite Dorene back.

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