Luca, aged 11, struggles with colour sensitivity. Some shades of white can help him feel better, including the colour of his doves. In this article and video Luca discusses how animals and birds help him to relax. 

Animals are around us in a lot of places. You might even be looking at one right now, and they have a lot of healing properties – well maybe not most predators – but most small animals you’ll find in Britain are quite cute. Most of them, though, aren’t very tame but it still makes you feel good to look at them.

Pets, however, are usually very tame. Dogs and cats, for example, will give you a lot of oxytocin (the love hormone) just by being next to them or looking at them or even better stroking/holding them.

I have 3 pet doves in an aviary. Most people dislike pigeons. I mean yes, they do pooh around everywhere but they have to go somewhere. My doves are very tame and they make me feel relaxed and calm when I am near them. I used to have a fear of cats but now I rather like them and they too make me feel relaxed.

I usually see alpacas every two weeks. There are a lot of places where you can find alpacas and walk them. They are quite skittish and you can’t really stroke them but they do make me feel quite relaxed and when you are going walking, it is a lot more enjoyable when you have an alpaca with you than when you walk on your own.

My family and I are planning to get some pygmy goats. I had a bit of a traumatic experience with a goat once but I think I am over it now. We don’t live on a farm but we have quite a long garden which we don’t use for much (except playing swingball) so we are going to make a goat pen at the bottom of our garden.

Just being around wild animals can make you feel happy and next time you see a pigeon, remember that it can make you feel good.