Meet Lisa Dowling and Gail Skinner, two talented people who want to change the world we live in
Two female stalwart members of APAA do just that. Both work in extraordinary roles with animals. One is training and teaching people and their pets to co-exist happily and without abusive behaviour towards or from them. The other uses animals in her coaching to help young humans who are in need of help, emotionally or with relationships.
Fascinatingly, they are both women who have started their journey in another time, place and country, choosing Portugal to continue, with dedication and resourcefulness, their unique and individual hands-on approach in their work.
APAA are lucky to have these talented people who want to change the world we live in, one way or another.
Lisa Dowling has learnt that, in her sphere, animals are not only helpful but important living tools, especially with the psychological needs of emotionally disturbed youngsters and adults. Her patience and kindness are reflected in her words. “Animal-assisted coaching makes it easier for all humans to relax and talk openly in the presence of an animal.”
Luckily, Lisa has a variety of horsey and doggy friends to help. “Having dogs present and playing with them enables everyone to feel more comfortable, start sharing information about themselves, what their difficulties are”, she explains. “Horses have the amazing ability to mirror our innermost emotions. Horses give honest feedback, how we really feel, despite of what we say!”
Gail Skinner, another ‘one-hundred percenter’, says: “My aim is training people and their canine ‘companions’ to co-habit peacefully and enjoy the world they share, without abuse and stress.” Her past SPCA link, especially with horses, helped. “They really do give you a special insight to animals.”
Here in Portugal, her work has centred on much-needed attention to the well-being of dogs. “Animals who are traumatised and abused find it difficult to rehabilitate. It takes time and patience.” Gail’s philosophy? “I just go the extra mile. It’s worth it every time!”
Needless to say, Gail and Lisa are fully-qualified and accredited professionals within their fields, offering clients their total commitment and confidentiality.
Finally, if you are a member of APAA or have read this article in the Resident, Gail and Lisa are able to offer you special rates and make a donation to APAA (Association for Protection of Animals Algarve), and their animal rescue programme.
Thanks to the Resident, our continued fellowship grows.
Charity shops: Alvor, Dunas Complex. Monday-Saturday. 10.30am-2pm; Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm. Bring or buy!
Date for your diary: Sunday, June 5, 3.00pm. Special Posh Plate ‘Tea’ celebrating HM’s Platinum Jubilee at Jackie’s Garden, north of Portimão. Contact Jenny at APAA on 919 041 903 or email [email protected]