Toby, a miniature horse brings joy to residents at St. John’s Circle of Care

Residents at St. John’s Circle of Care had a special visitor again last week.

Toby, a miniature horse, pranced to the door, and was welcomed with bright smiles as he moved throughout the building with his owner, Shirlene Hvinden, stopping to allow residents the opportunity to stroke his shoulder or velvety soft muzzle.

“I had no idea that one cold winter day a few years ago when I answered a Craigslist ad for a little mini colt that things were getting ready to unfold in the most rewarding way,” said Hvinden during a recent interview. “I never thought that day would turn into a relationship with one of the most special little equines I have ever met.  His ability to be patient and adorable, coupled with my background of long-term care, was a perfect combination for serving some of our community’s needs.  He is so very special and seems to understand he has a job to do now!  He, and I enjoy visiting nursing homes to make special deliveries around holidays or merely stop in to brighten a day. Of course, it is a good excuse to find some cute things to outfit Toby in, but he seems to be just fine with the collected effort of spreading sunshine!”

Springfield Advance-Press

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