I wish to continue introductions for The Council of Disabled Animal Friends. Each is a different shape and size and all have been with me for different amounts of time. They have all offered me much needed support of many different kinds throughout this past year and half.
Diego the Tortoise and Ned the Green Turtle
Both of these shelled critters have Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), a disorder where people to switch between periods of lethargy and depression and periods of elevated mood and hyperactivity. Diego is currently in a more lethargic phase while Ned is currently in a hyperactive phase.
Diego was a birthday gift from my sister, adding to the already extensive collection of turtle/tortoise related stuff I already have. He is a puppet and hails from Spain. He is in charge of foreign outreach and exchange programs for the council, because disabilities are not limited to this country.
Ned was a find at a thrift store on my recent trip to Minnesota. He is the activities director for the council using excess energy planning fun and exciting events. He does require help from Diego and Marvin the mouse when he is in a depressed mood.
Sheila the Stingray
Sheila has a spinal chord injury resulting from a careless driver of a motorboat. The injury is quite low on her spine, so she has use of her fins, gills, and all upper functions. Due to her injuries she can no longer use her tail or stinger, impeding her movement slightly and her ability to catch any prey. She came to me as a homecoming gift when I briefly returned to Colorado. Sheila is Aqua Therapist for those of the group who require physical therapy, using her extensive marine knowledge to benefit the council.
Dexter the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
Dexter has nerve damage due to myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness. To assist in his ability to cling to different surfaces, he uses magnets attached to his feet. Dexter was given to me as a birthday gift after a high school trip to Costa Rica, where I got to see strawberry poison dart frogs in the wild.
Dexter is the mental health councilor for members of the council. Disabilities of any kind affect the demeanor and mental status of even the strongest individuals; Dexter provides support for every member of the group in dealing with life on a day to day basis.
Lilly the Sea Otter
Lilly has obsessive compulsive disorder, expressed mainly by compulsive munching on kelp even when full. She was another homecoming present when I returned to Colorado for a few months. Lilly is the scribe for the council, taking fastidious notes of every meeting, event, etc. Though many times a disability can be seen as a hindrance, each individual's talents and specialties can be extremely useful if directed correctly.
More to come later...
The Council of Disabled Animal Friends, Part 1