“The benefits of ‘stuffed animal therapy’ are well known in the health care profession,” says Schaible. “Lamb Chop is the friend that recipients cuddle and talk to in hours of illness or despair.” Schaible’s group has distributed more than 10,000 Aurora Lamb Chops worldwide. “When we give out a Lamb Chop we tell people that we love them and that God loves them,” explains Schaible. Many people, upon receiving the gift, are overcome with emotion. The website, www.heartoftheshepherd.com, is filled with many heart-rendering testimonials of people who credit Lamb Chop with providing peace in the midst of personal crisis. In addition to countless emails, Schaible’s mailbox constantly overflows with notes of gratitude, some of which she posts anonymously on the site.
One example: “I just wanted to thank you for the lamb that my seven year old son received while in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. This was really scary and sudden and just as they were rolling him back to surgery, the ER nurse ran out and said ‘Wait! He needs this!’ Dawson clutched that lamb all through his whole stay and even at home while recovering.” On each Lamb Chop, there is a tag around the neck with an inscription: “Dear Friend, you are loved. We pray that this little lamb will comfort you during your time of illness or despair.
In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. Discrete aurorae often display magnetic field lines or curtain-like structures, and can change within seconds or glow unchanging for hours, most often in fluorescent green. The aurora borealis most often occurs near the equinoctes. The northern lights have had a number of names throughout history. The Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits". In Europe, in the Middle Ages, the auroras were commonly believed a sign from God. Its southern counterpart, the aurora australis (or the southern lights), has almost identical features to the aurora borealis and changes simultaneously with changes in the northern auroral zone and is visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, New Zealand and Australia.
Aurorae occur on other planets. Similar to the Earth's aurora, they are visible close to the planet's magnetic poles.