As I mentioned the other day after I was so rudely woken up, we received our assignment and needed to get ready for our visits. Sam here. Therapy work can be daunting and difficult. This month’s assignments were some of the most intense we’ve ever done. But first…we had to get ready which means…
…I get tortured. First mom bathes me. Blech! I despise getting wet. Here I am trying to work the pitiful ‘woe is me’ look. What do you think? Pretty effective, huh? Certainly I deserve a handful of treats for having to endure this torture, don’t I? Luckily mom thought so too even if I may have overplayed it just a tad. Note all of the ‘implements of destruction’ next to me? Trust me…with that much torture in a bucket, I absolutely deserve all the treats I can eat.
See, first there’s the bath. That’s bad enough. It means I have to get squeaky clean from top to bottom, including removal of any ear schmutz and eye snot. Mom complains when I don’t cooperate on the ears. But then again, do YOU like water in YOUR ears? Yeah, I rest my case. Then there’s the conditioner. Which means more water rinsing me out. Ugh. If that’s not bad enough, I have to
suffer through endure loads of drying with tons brushing out and then mom loves to get carried away floofing out my Swiffer nice tail. Have a mentioned I HATE having my tail messed with?!
Anyway, then she trims hairs around my bum (whoa…that’s kinda personal back there lady…be extra careful!), my feet, my regal nose and head. B. U. Z. Z. What’s a poor mistreated poodle to do? Ooh, I know, I know…work that pitiful look down to a science before she gets out the nail clippers. Yikes!!!
After 87 hours, drying, brushing, trimming and clipping, I was finally able to go to work. We met a lot of people and had some very intense encounters with some folks from the 4th floor. It’s always a gamble when we go to the Senior Behavioral unit. You never know how lucid the patients will be or if they will freak out with a large and, dare I say, handsome pup like myself. Mom tells me not to take it personally and I don’t but this was one visit I’m not likely to forget any time soon.
The charge nurse asked if we wouldn’t mind visiting with “Ethel” (names here have been change to protect their identities) to see if we might persuade her to ‘voluntarily’ go back to her room. Mom said sure, why not. They warned us.
Ethel was at the end of the hallway, lying prone in the middle of the hall in front of the locked exit door with a blanket over her head and shoulders. She was arguing with the CNA about not wanting to go back to her room to lay on her nice comfy bed. The CNA asked her if she’d like to visit with a therapy dog and for a moment I thought I might be able to get her up upright. She briefly looked at me, so I wagged my tail like the good boy I am and waited for her to want to touch me and then she shrieked “I know what you’re trying to do and I’m not going to do it!” Mom was surprised and when the nurse asked her if she wanted to pet the dog, she yelled, “No, I know what you’re trying to do and I’m not falling for it.” As a calm therapy dog, I wasn’t sure what to do next, so I laid down next to her hoping it would make her feel better. She just said to go away so mom and the nurse shrugged and we went down to the Day Room to visit with “Mary” and “Henry.” They enjoyed my visit very much and Henry was wearing a t-shirt from the Orange County Animal Shelter where he had volunteered with the dogs. He loved on me and then I spent time with Mary. She almost wouldn’t let us go…she was so excited to have someone to talk to who had a dog but her conversation was confusing and all over the map. I just looked into her eyes and wagged my tail while she went on and on about every subject under the sun. It was a challenge trying to follow what she was talking about so eventually we bid our good byes and then I got to spend some quality time with the nursing staff.
Those ladies are angels. They deal with some difficult patients yet always have a smile for me. Plus their treats are pretty tasty too. Mom is ever so grateful for these angels. They have challenging jobs with some hard to handle patients. Mental illness and dementia are tough areas to work in and these nurses deserve all the kudos they can get. Big tail wag applaws from me.
We also visited at Coronary ICU where I ran into “Marie” whose husband was making a recovery after months of being very ill. She took one look at ‘Moi’ and melted. Then her husband’s PA came by and did the same. You bet I strutted my stuff and received lots of attention and ear scratches for it.
We stayed for a very long time for me and I was pretty exhausted. Mom drove me home (at least she’s good for something, right?) and I didn’t eat any dinner but instead went straight to slumberland. When I woke up later that night, mom was talking with a friend on the phone so I curled up by her feet and zonked out again. Those girls
blabbed talked for a couple of hours catching up and every once in while I’d look up to see if they were talking about me. Once I realized I was the subject, I’d drag my butt get up and put my head in mom’s lap and look up lovingly at her. She smiled and then finished talking with her friend sheesh you uprights can sure gab a lot about nothing.
On Friday we went back for more patient visits and surprise…a photo shoot touting pet therapy. Yours truly was there and hopefully once those pics are ready, mom will share them. Woof! Following our visits there were more naps. Hey, I have to be ready for the weekend, right?
Wishing you and yours a pawsome weekend with fun and loads of rest. Looks like autumn is finally starting to arrive most everywhere and this here pup couldn’t be happier about it. We’re going to a picnic rescue benefit for fun and games with dogs that need new homes and I’m hoping to snag a crumb or two. Let’s hope they find new fur-ever homes.
Live, love, bark! <3