Robin and Olivia Lee are a mother and daughter duo, strongly believing in the healing powers that animals offer.
When Robin was looking for a place to live after moving from the Bay Area, she chose to be closer to Olivia and fulfill a dream of living with horses.
“I have always been a horse person and kind of realized that when I was at the barn with my horse, I was really in the moment and that was kind of my Zen place,” said Robin. “I always wanted to have a ranch when I retired with lots of animals.”
Robin, in her professional career, worked with oncology patients. She witnessed many going through cancer treatments, them constantly focused on what was coming next. Not living in the moment.
Robin’s new home with acres of land became the perfect place to create something combining passions with Olivia – offering a healing escape and experience through animals.
“It was kind of the perfect place. It was just like a dream property,” said Olivia. “I was living in L.A. at the time and we kind of just decided to take a leap of faith and move into this little house together with all of these acres and go for it and just start this project together.”
Press Paws is a nonprofit organization geared to provide opportunities for individuals affected by cancer and their caretakers to engage within their environment and embrace the moment.
Press Paws currently houses two pigs (Este and Uma), two goats (Lolli and Horns), two dogs (Mel and Bridget) and three horses (Dyna, Cat and Gal). Two of the horses were rescued and one is a retired horse.
Each animal at Press Paws Ranch Retreat offers a different experience, depending on what attendees need.
“It’s kind of like what you’re needing in that moment,” said Olivia. “I think the goats are really entertaining. The pigs are really cuddly and then the horses really kind of encourage you to breathe and slow down because horses are very sensitive creatures and kind of require you to be really aware of yourself and if you feel anxious, a horse will feel anxious.”
Attendees are able to partake in hikes, yoga, meditation and art projects, all with the animals.
“It offers them really a solace, it offers people an escape from their everyday life,” said Robin.
Robin and Olivia hope that by offering these experiences, those who are caught up in thoughts of the future can learn something from the animals.
“Animals are in the moment,” said Robin.
Press Paws is looking to host bigger community events in the future. Robin and Olivia estimate that their next community event will be held in August.