And that they spend most of their lives standing up, sleeping for a maximum of two hours a day, usually only 10 minutes at a time? And because their legs are so long, they walk at 10 miles per hour without even trying?
Did you know that a giraffe's blood pressure is twice that of humans? This is necessary to keep blood flowing all the way up its long neck to its head. In fact, their system for regulating blood pressure is so sophisticated that it has been replicated by aeronautical engineers for use in spacesuits.
And for all our friends in Allentown, did you know that two boy Masai giraffes from Kansas City Zoo are coming to Lehigh Valley Zoo this August?
These two tall drinks of water are causing quite a stir in the Live Wright community. So much so that a local Pennsylvanian artist was inspired to turn them into watercolor:
"As a student of the arts, and a member of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Lehigh Art Alliance, I have the opportunity to volunteer for the arts and display my work for the Lehigh community to view." - MARION SHEINBERG
"I can paint. And at first it was just about painting these two Masai giraffes for the zoo. But then I realized it could be so much more - it could be the start of a bigger movement. We can use my painting to bring the whole community together, not only to support getting these majestic creatures to the zoo for everyone's enjoyment, but also to use my art to support Live Wright Society's good causes, specifically Alzheimer's and Dementia. This is something I can do from my heart, to give back and pay it forward. Kids! Adults! Everyone! Get out your coloring books!" - MARION SHEINBERG
But what is the symbolism of these animals and their connection to Marion's painting and Alzheimer's/Dementia?
First: Animals are calming
Animals by nature are non-judgmental, which allows them to serve as very good companions for Alzheimer's/Dementia patients. In fact, they can provide an immense amount of social support and unconditional love. Research shows that people with Alzheimer's/Dementia recognize an animal as friendly and non-threatening, and often display more interactive behaviors when around them.
"The kind of obstacles faced by those with dementia include apathy, irritability, restlessness, depression, difficulty engaging in social activities, and risk of loneliness and isolation. Due to the anxiety that social situations can cause in dementia patients, they often avoid social situations altogether, including interacting with family and loved ones.
People dealing with dementia can lose motivation to maintain physical activity and sometimes neglect necessary daily activities such as eating or basic personal hygiene.
Many individuals with Alzheimer’s, who respond to little or nothing else in their environment, will respond to the non-threatening presence of a gentle therapy animal. An animal also provides a natural and easy conversation topic for dementia patients, who often feel a great deal of strain from being put into social situations." - WWW.ALZHEIMERSPROJECT.ORG
Color is the most important visual experience for a human being. It is an extremely powerful channel for information and science has found it to play a significant role in enhancing memory performance.
Psychiatrists have been prescribing the act of coloring to patients for over 100 years now. And in recent years, adult coloring books have skyrocketed in popularity because we are all searching for familiar ways to relieve our stress, find clarity or even a moment of escape. It is not just a casual pastime for children anymore.
Third: Animals + Color = Therapy
Many senior living facilities use therapeutic methodologies like coloring and animal interaction to help sooth their residents. In fact, Lehigh Valley Zoo has already taken their animals to visit Alzheimer's/Dementia patients who reside in the Memory Units of places like Country Meadows Retirement Communities.
Our goal is to work with facilities like Country Meadows / Above & Beyond / Arden Courts, Alzheimer's Dementia Caregiver support groups like Memory Café by Abington Manor, health care organizations like Lehigh Valley Health Network, free community services like Care Patrol / SarahCare Adult Day Care Center, organizations like the Lehigh Valley Art Council, local schools, libraries and neighborhoods - distribute Marion's giraffe painting as a medium for coloring and individual expression, as well as a therapeutic method people can use to preserve and enhance their own memories and stories, while learning about Alzheimer's/Dementia and how to help those affected by it.
So, whether you have children who could use some calm in their day, or you're searching for a brief break from your own life, or you are just seeking a conversation or a way to get a little clarity - color with us! For whatever reason you might have, color away your stress. Color out your stories. Color alongside those who have lost their memories. Color to help raise awareness. You will benefit from it. And if you color with us, you will also benefit others.
At Live Wright, we use coloring internally as a cathartic way to free our minds, to brainstorm amongst friends, and to gently reminisce on the stories and memories that make us who we are. By doing all these things, we often discover surprising answers to our questions and positive solutions for our challenges.
Stay tuned and watch this space for when we begin announcing local community coloring activities you can join or support.
If you would like to download and print a copy of Marion's Masai giraffes to color on your own time, CLICK HERE.
All we ask is that you send us a photo of your finished product to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Live Wright Society, Art Director
Local Artist, Macungie PA
I am a wife, mother, grandmother and artist living in Macungie, PA.
Upon retirement in 2007, the luxury of time has allowed me to pursue my interest in the visual arts and the love of drawing from my childhood. I began by taking art classes with adult education programs at a local high school, and a variety of art classes at the Baum School of Art in Allentown and The Banana Factory in Bethlehem, all of which furthered my experiences in drawing and painting, and connected me to extraordinarily talented artists.
For the very first time in my life I entered into the exciting world of watercolor. Loving the results it created, I was determined to conquer the difficulty of this medium. With a great deal of trepidation, trial, error and a lot of practice I
gained confidence to continue to make watercolor a great love and one of the most fascinating and challenging of my painting experiences.
Although I thoroughly enjoy various forms of medium and styles, if asked what I enjoy most I would say watercolor and reality. Currently, I am very involved with painting pet portraits in watercolor. Obtaining photos of the animals is basically all I need, which I carefully study in order to capture personality as well as physical likeness to produce a wonderful, detailed reproduction.
One painting I am particularly proud of is Dutch, a handsome and gentle chocolate Labrador Retriever. Dutch is the first working therapy dog at Lehigh Valley Hospital’s Hospice Unit. I was privileged to be involved in honoring Dutch, his owner and the Hospice unit by creating the portrait of his likeness, which will hang in the halls of the Unit for many years to come.
The honor of my affiliation with Live Wright over the years leading up to accepting this position of Art Director, has been a life changing experience, and now enables me to use my passion for art and paying it forward by being a part of LWS’s goal to raise awareness and bring community together around amazing causes.
I anticipate that my love of art, and newly discovered Live Wright Society mission shall be my lifelong passion.