A three-week-old lamb has been anything but sheepish about capturing the hearts of Cambridge rest home residents.
After Princess Lambinton was abandoned by her mother last month – Mum had twins and only one udder – her life took a turn for the better when Shelley Parker and Sam Wilkinson adopted her.
While the couple, who own and operate a chiropractic care clinic in Cambridge, set about weaning the lamb, they wondered whether rest home residents would appreciate a visit from the four-legged creature.
If Monty, Cambridge Riding for the Disabled’s therapy pony, could do it, why not a lamb?
Why not indeed. Trips to Bupa St Kilda and Cambridge Life showed the lamb was very popular, particularly in the dementia units where it is well known animals have an amazing knack of reducing anxiety, improving mood and encouraging engagement.
Princess Lambinton, wearing a nappy in case of any spillage, lapped up the attention at Ultimate Care Cambridge Oakdale this week where two of her biggest fans were Betty Kerr, 91, and Cynthia Smith, 86.
Both were brought up on farms – Betty on a Glen Massey dairy farm near Te Ākau and Cynthia at a sheep and beef farm at Kimbolton near Feilding.
Former bus driver Sue Collier, 76, may not have had a farming background but patting a lamb was something she took to with great gusto.
Oakdale manager Lezani Meyer, who has only been at the home for four weeks, was another fan of the princess. The feeling was mutual as the lamb lovingly licked her face.
Shelley’s biggest fear now is that the lamb, once weaned, will struggle to settle back into her Aspin Road flock.
“She’s very much enjoying Netflix, couch time and being patted and cuddled at the rest homes,” she said.
A return visit to St Kilda is on the cards this week and after this publicity, Princess Lambinton is likely to find herself in huge demand.