Whatever you do this weekend, Sam and I hope that your barking is loads of fun. Any special plans?
Live, love, bark! <3
Ahh, Brooklyn, the most populous and ever so hip borough in New York City. Well I can tell you flat out, Brooklyn ain’t just in NYC!
So over the weekend we hit the hospital/hospice trail. It was a glorious Autumn day while we weren’t able to visit with any patients on Sunday (they were all either asleep or unable to have visitors) it that didn’t stop us from having a terrific day. Little precious Brooklyn, an adorable 18-month old toddler spotted Sam from the opposite end of a the hallway, and came running up to hug him, squealing “doggie!, doggie!” the whole length of the hallway. I wish I would have had the presence to video her and Sam’s reaction. He was so excited to see a little kid tottering toward him since he absolutely loves little kids anyway and especially little girls. His tail was furiously wagging. Brooklyn and her family were visiting her grandpa who was being moved from one room to another so the family was migrating with their personal items toward the new location. Like most little kids, she was completely captivated by his super soft hair and continually wove her fingers through it the whole time she petted him. They had quite the ‘visit’ with her smiling and speaking an unintelligible language, but saying his name over and over. It really was quite cute.
After spending quite a bit of time chatting with Brooklyn and her lovely family, we visited with a number of staff members. I am in awe of the work they do daily; their giving just never seems to stop-be it for patients, visitors, or one another. They all wanted to take time out to get in a few ear scratches and enjoy the ever present “I really like you lean-in” from Sam who seriously crushes on more than a couple nurses.
Saturday we were scheduled to visit the Senior Behavioral Health unit, an inpatient geriatric psychiatry program at the hospital designed to address the complex mental health and medical needs of older patients. We have visited this floor before, but this time I was particularly struck by the fact that 99% of all the patients were elderly women. Is it because women live longer as a general rule or is it something else? In any event, we spent a lot of time with Annie and Karen. Despite my lack of formal training, I was struck by the fact that both women appeared lucid, knew what was going on around them and were very much aware of what was going on in the outside world. Annie, at age 82 was a real charmer. She had a twinkle in her eye and was completely captivated by Sam who made her beam from ear to ear as he leaned against her leg and looked fondly into her sparkly blue eyes. She was ever grateful we took time to visit her and thanked us repeatedly. I suspect she may have been quite the gal in her time. She left me with a smile in my heart at meeting this lovely woman despite her future being a bit uncertain with unresolved issues as to where she would be going next.
After visiting with Annie, we talked for an extended time with Karen who was in better physical shape and younger. Both Karen and Annie were to be released some time this week and both mentioned they had no family to go ‘home to’ which left me sad. I wonder how many women across the country are in the same position? And why as a society have we allowed so many to get in that position?
As you can see, Karen enjoyed her time with Sam and we talked about her family and how they’d abandoned her and how she decided to ‘create a new family’ for the holidays. She gave me her recipe for pecan pie right off the top of her head and asked if we had family to visit for Thanksgiving and if not, to please come by; she’d love to have both Sam and I. The gracious invitation from this kindly Southern-raised woman was tempting though I know my own family will be assembling for the annual football and food fest and we’ll have much to be thankful for this year (more on that in a later post). She continued on with the details surrounding the preparations for the roasted pig and shoat she was going to serve (doing it southern style for 3 days in the ground and wondering out loud as to where she’d get banana leaves to wrap the pit). I offered a solution which she thought might work and she made a note to herself to contact a floral shop about getting some from them.
While I have many more thoughts about Karen, Annie and folks like them, I will continue to contemplate the state of health care for older people, particularly women. Still, all in all it was a good weekend to visit with patients and staff.
Have you ever wondered what happens to older patients with no family to care for them? What are your thoughts?
Live, love, bark! <3
It’s not quite Wordless Wednesday. There are some big deals going on today that need to be celebrated. The French-born Chinese-American musical giant, Yo-Yo Ma turns 60 years old. Hard to believe the remarkably youthful and talented looking cellist is actually 60!
But then there’s another big birthday celebration happening today. ‘Supermodel Yosemite Sam’ turns 10 years old today. Sam was born on the Great Plains in Eastern Colorado but moved to the Mile High City nearly 8 years ago. He’s been with me making wonderful music ever since. Here’s wishing the music continues for a long time from both of today’s birthday boys. 🎼🎶🎵 Happy birthday, Sam! You sweet, goofball. We love you.
Live, love, bark! <3
Seems like a bunch of you were stumped with the last edition and both mom and I thought last week’s facts were more than challenging. With today’s fog here in the 303, my brain is a little slow today too so we’re keeping this one simple-ish.
But before we get to the answers…here are a couple of interesting facts I found while scanning the Internet.
Now for the answers…drum roll please:
(1) The Boxer (I chose this one because of my ‘BFF’ Lulu, who is quite the Boxer in every sense of the word and only thinks she doesn’t like me; (2) Through their pads of our feet; (3) That ridge along their backs grows in the opposite direction of the rest of their fur (you did get this one correct right, huh Penny?); (4) The Cocker Spaniel; (5) Dachshunds (or as we call ’em in Germany…Dackels). They were developed to hunt badgers more than 300 years ago and because they’re built low to the ground were able to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily. Even their name spells it out-dachs means “badger” and hund of course is “dog” auf Deutsch; (6) This ever popular breed is the Labrador Retriever and to see a couple of terrific ones with the funniest stories, check out Jodi’s blog over at Heart Like a Dog. I guarantee you’ll laugh at the stories about her fur-kids. Mom is constantly snorting coffee all over the keyboard which then makes me stick to the keys. Dang it, mom! If I said it once, I’ve said it a 1,000 times, NO coffee when reading blogs! Sheesh, what’s a guy gotta do to train a biped?!
Well, that’s it for me. We hope everyone is safe and sound and starting to dry out after Hurricane Joaquin. I’m sending PPT (positive pup thoughts) to everyone affected and hope you are all getting back to normal. Till next time pups…later!
Live, love, bark! <3
Sam may have a new budding career as a super model. Our Pet Therapy program has only one fundraiser which bankrolls the program throughout the course of the year with sales of the pet therapy calendar at the gift shop which includes photos of all the participating therapy pups. Who doesn’t love seeing photos of pet therapy pooches-no one apparently because we sell out every year. Over the weekend, the calendar came out and I’m happy to share that Sam is rocking the runway with his own month for 2016. After working with patients both Saturday and Sunday, the puparazzi swarmed him but this boy took time out of his busy modeling schedule to pose in the garden. Though it’s not the photo I thought they’d use in the calendar, we’re nonetheless thrilled with him finally having a month all to himself to showcase his doofus-ness in all its glory. All of the pups had fabulous entries so it’s no doubt difficult to pick out which one will be featured with such a terrific group of pooches.
Though he’ll always be a super model in my mind, I think he looks pretty swell as 2016’s Mr. October. 🐾
How was your weekend? Paws crossed that all our friends on the East Coast survived the rain and kept safe from Joaquin’s high water levels. We’ve had you in our thoughts and prayers.
Live, love, bark! <3