How a rescued horse helped overcome my grief
- Credit: ©Steve Bardens
A grieving mother found the companionship of a rescued horse helped her cope with the death of her beloved daughter.
Amanda Gaughran's world was torn apart when she lost Genna at the age of just 26, in 2012.
As she grappled with depression, her husband Ed and and son Phillip wondered it might help if Mrs Gaughran, 56, who already owned two horses, took on another.
National pet charity Blue Cross was looking for homes for 70 animals which had been rescued.
Jasmine, now 11, was among them. Factory worker Mrs Gaughran, from Marshland St James, said as soon as she arrived, in November 2014, she made a difference to her life.
You may also want to watch:
"We've got other horses but she's the one who seemed to know when something was wrong," she said. "She was more perceptive than the others were.
"Jasmine seemed to understand. I'd go in there and cry in her mane and give her a cuddle, and she'd nuzzle me as if to say: 'Everything's going to be okay, mum.
- 1 Long tailbacks on A47 due to roadworks and lane closure
- 2 Owner of new pet shop says he will put animal welfare before sales
- 3 'Complete shock' - Neighbours stunned after cannabis farm uncovered
- 4 Three adorable abandoned day-old kittens adopted by stray
- 5 Driver stopped by police - 20 minutes after being given court ban
- 6 Antiques Road Trip films at Norfolk collectables shop
- 7 Two women injured in serious crash which closed road
- 8 New owners of popular park café set out vision for 'beautiful' venue
- 9 Norwich Airport puts back a host of flights as Covid bites
- 10 Two men charged with murder of 23-year-old
"She followed me everywhere. On good days she would look at me out of those big kind eyes and I swear she was smiling at me. On bad days she would come to me and with a gentle nudge would remind me she was there for me. She seemed to feel what you were feeling and understand what you were going through, maybe because she'd been through something similar herself.
"Gradually I recovered from the depression. Although I miss Genna terribly, I know she wouldn't want my life to stop because of her.
"Caring for Jasmine gave me a purpose. We rescued each other in our times of need. I think she was sent to help me. It proves what great healers horses can be."
National pet charity Blue Cross has launched a report which calls on the Government to recognise the role animals can play in people's wellbeing.
The report, Link in the Chain, examines the impact poverty, mental health problems and loneliness have on society and how animals are a crucial link for many people.
Among its recommendations, Blue Cross is calling for community mental health teams to recognise a patient's relationship with their pet in any psychological and psychiatric assessments and make sure this is reflected in care plans.