Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Kauai, Hawaii announced last month that a relative of a patient arrived at Wilcox with a horse to cheer up a patient at the hospital. The visitors reached the lobby where the front desk personnel had retired for the evening. The relative and the horse called from the lobby to announce their arrival and intention to visit the patient. They boarded an elevator and proceeded to the 3rd floor where they were met with security. Security seems to be a problem at Wilcox at a number of different levels. Back in 2005, the hospital informed 120,000 past and current patients that their names, addresses, Social Security numbers and medical records had been placed on an USB Flash Drive and was missing.
Security stopped the horse on the third floor and apparently brought the erstwhile beneficiary of the visit to identify the visitors. He was unable to identify the horse, claiming "that is not my horse." Whether or not he was able to identify the relative remains unknown. Security up to the task then removed the allegedly inebriated relative from the facility and led him to the parking lot where he loaded the horse in a trailer and drove off. It is not known whether the horse was sober at the time. Score another one for security sending a drunken driver out on public roads with an unidentified horse.
In theory, the concept was a good one. There is evidence to support the conclusion that visitations by pets do help in convalescence. Wouldn't the Lone Ranger prefer a visit from Silver rather than Tonto? How about Roy Rogers and Trigger rather than Dale Evans? After all, Roy had Trigger, Buttermilk (Dale's horse) and his faithful dog "Bullet" mounted after they died, but not Dale. They are still powerful attractions and can be visited daily at the Roy Rogers Museum located in Branson, Missouri. Visiting horses may be subject to search there, however, as security is tighter than in Kauai.