To help keep you inspired and engaged, our Living Well Centre team is bringing you a variety of themed activities and resources, with new topics added regularly.
The theme for the ninth set of resources is animals. We hope you find lots to inspire you on this web page. We have shared pictures of our pets and hope you might send us photos of your furry friends, or how you are inspired by these pages. You can get in touch with us by email.
We hope you enjoy the content, are inspired to be creative and to get active too. We would love to hear from you, so please let us know how you get on with the resources. Send your feedback and pictures to us by email.
Can you guess the animals by their footprints? Click the links below to see the clues, and the final document for the answers!
Animal idioms quiz
Can you guess the well-known animal idioms by their descriptions? Take a look!
Have a go at matching these adult animals with their young. Do you know whose baby a poult is? Take the quiz.
Have a go at deciphering the names of these wild animals!
Book and film recommendations
There are so may books and films on an animal theme, we couldn’t possibly list them all! Take a look at a few suggestions in the lists below. Enjoy!
- Book suggestions
- Film suggestions
- A review of Monty Don’s Nigel: My family and other dogs
- A presentation on Birds in a Cage, by Derek Niemann. This is a remarkable true story of four British serviceman who were POW’s in World War II and found purpose and camaraderie in their love of birds.
Animals and art
Animals have been represented in art for centuries. Take a look at the presentations below for an insight into how animals have inspired famous sculptors.
- Learn how sculptors and brothers Alberto and Diego Giacometti used the animal form in their work
- Find out how artist Henry Moore was inspired by the natural world, in particular the sheep!
Check out our gallery of tin foil animal sculptures, inspired by the work of Alberto and Diego Giacometti. Why not have a go yourself? Let us know how you get on!
Meet the team’s pets!
From chickens and tropical fish, to lots and lots of pet cats – our Living Well Team are certainly a group of animal lovers. Read on to find out about the cuddly creatures they share their homes with.
Ben and Jerry
“These are my two cats Ben and Jerry. My son chose their names after the ice cream brand. They’re always getting into mischief together, although they have very different personalities. Ben is very athletic, likes being outdoors and is good at keeping the rodent population down and Jerry likes to hang out with the humans. They’re always making us laugh and bring us enormous joy.”
Claire, Occupational Therapist
“Kenneth was found in a very sorry state in a box in a shed by builders who luckily took him to the animal rescue centre, and the rest – as they say – is history. My younger son named him – I had no part in that! He’s an absolute joy and neither of us would be without the other now.”
Ginny, Staff Nurse
“As a kitten she was known as Minnie the Destroyer because she energetically wrecked all her toys. Now Minnie is a dignified 10 years old. She is very affectionate usually seeking snuggles, cuddles and lap time. She is a cheeky girl with a plucky personality and has got into a few scrapes over the years.
“We acquired her after she was found as a kitten in the jaws of a fox. As animals have been known to foster other species of baby animals, I wonder if the fox found her as a ‘lost’ kitten and was intending to add her to the family, especially as she has such a fluffy fox-like tail.”
Karen, Living Well Administrator
Shilo and Shanti
These two lovely cats belong to Kathy, a Senior Healthcare Assistant in Living Well. They are rescue brothers and their names mean ‘peace’.
Lily, Ruby Tuesday, Amber and Poppy
Read all about the four feline friends looked after by our Complementary Therapist Liesl.
Here’s a picture of Paddy, Dr Catherine’s not-so-helpful feline assistant!
Dottie and Will
“Dottie and Will, aged six and eight months, are rescue cats from Cats Protection in Evesham. They are very chilled out cats!”
Nerys, Therapy Support Worker
You can find out about Nerys’ other pets below!
“I have been keeping chickens for about six-and-a-half years and thoroughly enjoy looking after them. They all have unique personalities and some are friendlier than others. Pepper, pictured left, is a Copper Maran and she absolutely loves being cuddled. She is so friendly that when we eat outside she has to be locked in her coup as she loves to sit by us at the table and has been known to join in! Fortunately, we are vegetarians, so there is no chance of her eating her own kind! We have a mixture of bantams and full-size chickens and have also kept a cockerel called Stuart. The majority of the girls are rescue hens that at 17 months, when they are no longer considered financially viable by the egg industry, would otherwise have gone to slaughter.
“We are so lucky to have rescued them as they are still laying most days and produce the tastiest eggs. Depending on how many you keep, they don’t take up much time, space, or effort and I would encourage anyone who has a spare patch of garden, or empty shed, to consider visiting the British Hen Welfare Trust website www.bhwt.org.uk”
“This is Beauty. She is a Hypostomus Plecostomus, better known as a Suckermouth catfish, or pleco. Plecostomus means folded mouth. They were first discovered in 1758 in South America and there are at least 500 varieties of this type of catfish. They are a popular choice for tropical fish keepers as they enjoy sucking algae from the glass in the tank and help to keep the tank clean.
“They enjoy cucumber and other vegetables and on average survive in captivity for around 15 years. We have had Beauty for 13 and a half years and her previous owners had her for approximately five years. Beauty is about 35cm long, but they can grow up to 50cm. Beauty currently lives with three Zebra loaches, called Sue, Sooty and Sweep, two rabbit snails called Merlin and Gaius and one platy called Plato.”
And Graham and Sammy the guinea pigs, aged two!
Our many visits from MooMoo
Pre-lockdown, we were lucky to enjoy many visits from the adorable miniature pony MooMoo. This special therapy pony would often arrive in fancy dress, and once even sported a baby pink tail!
He has spent time with patients in the Living Well Centre and also on our In-patient Unit, bringing smiles to everyone he meets.
Rosie, MooMoo’s owner, writes:
“Moo Moo is a very special miniature horse who is 28 inches tall. He is used as a therapy horse and loves his job. He loves to bring joy to all who meet him.
“Being so tiny he is able to go inside and go up to people’s bedsides. He’s even been in lifts and can go most places! He is very friendly and enjoys a stroke and a pat. He even likes to dress up for special occasions!”
Top tips for getting out and about
- Before taking any exercise, please read our advice document by following this link.
Read this informative booklet from Macmillan Cancer Support with plenty of top tips to help you get active. It includes guidance on setting goals, tracking your progress and offers an activity diary for you to record your exercise sessions.
Further reading and resources
Learn about Pets as Therapy dog Meghan
Read a lovely piece written from the perspective of Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog Meghan, who has often visited patients at St Richard’s Hospice. Take a look at the article here.
How the animal kingdom flourished in lockdown
From Italy to Japan, read this interesting article on how the animal kingdom has reclaimed some built-up spaces during the global pandemic.
Find out Liesl’s top five wild animals
Complementary therapist Liesl shares her top five wild animals, and gives some interesting facts about each one. Read here.