This past week was pure hell. There I said it. Work was beyond dreadful with challenges like I’ve never seen, this all coming on the heels of a fantastic week (guess the pendulum does swing both ways 🙁 ) All in all it was one of the worst weeks in a long time. So it made perfect sense to end all that with a stint at the hospital.
Sam and I needed to recharge our soul batteries and I can think of no better way then to give back to those to absolutely need the kind of energy Sam can bring. And what visits we had including being chatted up by 3 fellow Standard Poodle owners. Woo-hoo!
Sam knew right away we were heading for the hospital as soon as I pulled his bandana down and was he ever excited, jumping around like the pogo-stick that he is when he expresses his joy (it was all I could do to get him to ‘sit’ for this pic-notice he’s on ready to spring into action with his hind legs though). Becoming impatient with me while I was getting stuff together, he started whining loudly and when that didn’t jib with his dog watch
timetable, he resorted to loudly barking at me and racing around in circles in front of the doorway…something he almost never does unless you’re the serial killer mail lady. Once I gathered everything we needed (you know…treats), we were off. Sam left skid marks out the door, raced over toward the garage and stood there dumbfounded since the door wasn’t open. The look on his face said what the heck?! He shot me a withering glance as if I had just stepped on his baby sister’s tail. I had to laugh at his reaction (I had moved the car out on the street earlier). As I moved toward the street and he heard the familiar click of the doors unlocking and he bounced out toward the car. I nearly had a heart attack as he started moving into the street as if to enter the car through the hatch door (stupid dog!) but when I opened the side door that he normally enters, he jumped in faster than a flea hopping on a dog. He was certainly R-E-A-D-Y to get to get going and get to work. 🐾
Once we got to the hospital he shifted into his ‘going to work’ stride. Head and tail erect, confident and purposeful gait. We first visited with the high schoolers manning the information desk as well as Sam’s buddies in the gift shop. Can I just say I totally love it when young male volunteers turn into puddles of cooing baby talk with loads of ahh-ing around Sam? So adorable.
The first person we visited with up on the floor was actually a visitor who was with his adult son in the hallway. He immediately (and correctly) identified Sam as a Standard Poodle. Normally that shouldn’t be a big deal, but because of his coloring, 99% of people we encounter think Sam is some sort of doodle hybrid. He told me about his black standard, BB who was over 17 when he passed recently. 17 years old? Seriously, were you giving him water from the Fountain of Youth??? Holy yikes, that’s quite the number with ANY dog, let along, a large one. We chatted a bit and some visitors from a nearby room came by and entered into the conversation. Then a patient getting in a couple of laps around the floor joined our merry little band and we all had a lovely visit talking up the virtues of Standard Poodles.
Later we stopped by BB’s mom who was a patient. She was laying on her bed, adorably cute and very diminutive with a sassy ball cap with a flower on the side. She was so excited to see Sam and told me about her sweet BB who guarded her whenever people were around. Apparently BB was not one to shirk his duties unlike another standard poodle I know who would probably point toward the jewelry box if a stranger came in the house (normally poodles are excellent guard dogs but nothing is very normal about Sam). Allie really enjoyed Sam’s visit and we left her smiling and grateful after a few minutes since she was pretty tired and needed to get ready for some medical tests that afternoon.
After visiting with other folks familiar with Standards and hearing their personal stories about those super smart dogs (I’m jealous at the lucky owners at times though I am reminded you just can’t buy Sam’s level of sweetness). We left for hospice and met the Ressler’s who owned a Standard Poodle named Sumo (get it, “sumo wrestler?” 🙂 ). They were such a sweet family, with kids, sons and daughters visiting and Sam was in hog heaven with all the attention moving from one member to the next.
Sometimes when Sam is on duty at the hospital, he seems far more focused on me rather than patients. He watches me and my every move carefully though I’m not sure exactly why
my dog must be a mama’s boy, sigh. When he realizes the Pez treat dispenser was no longer flowing, he became a little more engaged. Seriously, I’m gonna have to make him work first then get treats later. But he will lick his chops on command (both sides on cue even) and everyone seems to love that particular (and only) trick that the dimwit will perform.
We were at the hospital nearly two hours, a long time for him to be so on target for and it started to show. By the time we were finished I could tell he’d hit the wall. We went home and he took a long, deep sleep, ready for his next adventure on the evening walk.
On Sunday he was even more focused on me except when we made our rounds among the high school volunteers (Sam has a long history of loving kids and these kids are no exception). One new young and especially petite girl absolutely fell in love with Sam. I thought she was gonna kidnap him and judging by the heavy lean into her (causing her to nearly topple over by the way!), I think he’d have readily gone home with her. That is until I touched the magic pocket with the high value treats. Hey, I’m no ordinary fool! Plus when we got home I gave him an elk antler for all his efforts making people smile.
So what did you do this past glorious weekend? Enjoying the pre-Autumnal weather?
Live, love, bark! <3