Deja vu memories…all over again

In honor of the World Series starting yesterday and as an homage to one of my all time favorite baseball players’ quotes by Yogi Berra, we’re departing from our typical Wordless(y) Wednesday post to share a “deja vu memory…all over again”…one that came full circle last week when we volunteered with other pet therapy members selling our 2017 pet therapy calendar. We set up our display near the entrance as visitors arrived when a kindly older man strolled into the lobby and walked past us. He smiled and I thought, hmm, well that guy sure looks familiar but like so many other interesting faces you encounter daily, you dismiss the notion immediately and re-enter reality to concentrate on the present. A few moments later, he turned around and came back. He kept looking down at Sam with a cocked head and said, “I think I know that dog, yes…I’m sure I’ve met that dog before.” Sam began his furious tail wagging salute while simultaneously leaning against the man’s thigh. The man smiled broadly and said, “Yes, I do know this dog; he came and visited us at hospice a couple of years ago!” Recognition from another person especially at hospice is sure to take anyone by surprise but there was something special and familiar with his face and the certainty of which he spoke that made me want to dig deeper in the my memory banks. Then it hit me. Of course, now I remember!

hospiceOn one of our first hospice visits we visited with one of the truly nicest couples we’ve ever met. They made such an impression on me at the time. And while it took me a while to hunt down the photographic evidence of our visit back then, it made me smile once I found it, recalling a lovely visit at a serious time. He was so kind and so complimentary of Sam and his wife was thrilled to have the canine concierge visit and we stayed longer than usual with a hospice patient. They were both so gracious, so warm and inviting. They exuded a great love for each other and for life. Our conversation was of other dogs that had made an impression in their lives but they kept going back to how truly special Sam was. Far be it for me to disagree with someone who thinks this knucklehead was a 4-legged special gift. The essence of humanity oozed from both of them and Sam knew it. While Sam couldn’t heal her, he was able to provide a smile in both of their hearts and a beautiful memory for a chance meeting a couple of years later.

I remembered how excited he was when we visited them wife back then. Even in her weakened state, she was, for a few minutes happily content during our visit. And I couldn’t have been happier to have Sam put a smile on their faces back then and definitely again during this chance reunion with the husband. We chatted and caught up as much as you can with an acquaintance who you’d met years ago. But he was genuinely glad to see Sam again. Likewise, Sam was equally thrilled with the reunion and seemed to remember him too. We always remember those ‘good’ encounters and the lives of those who touch us in special ways and who provide us with beautiful memories then and always.

Live, love, bark! <3


34 thoughts on “Deja vu memories…all over again

  1. What a great story! Sam does a wonderful job. And, speaking as someone who has had a spouse in hospice, anything that can take your mind off of the current situation, even for a few minutes, is so helpful. Bless you for what you do.

  2. What a sweet story – and so great that you could bring some happiness to that couple in such a hard situation. If I’m ever in hospice, I definitely would love to have a dog like Sam come and visit me! Thank you for all that you do!!

  3. Oh my goodness what a beautiful sharing. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us… It’s amazing what animals can do for the soul!

  4. A really remarkable story today. Can’t believe you have been doing this for 2 1/2 years! I am so proud of you, keep up the good work. Love you

  5. Just like with people, Sam continues to prove you don’t have to be the smartest to be the kindest and most sensitive, able to make people even in a very bad situation smile for a little while. Way to go, sweet Sam. <3

  6. Such a great story…l love that both Sam and the gentleman remembered each other! What a wonderful thing you and Sam are doing with your hospice work. Talk about making a difference! <3

  7. I love this post. You were there years ago as much for this man as you were for his wife. He was touched. You left an impression, and he remembered. Every day is filed with brief, passing encounters. It’s important for us to remember that each brief encounter could be the highlight of someone’s day. Make it special . . . as special as you and Sam were to this sweet man.

  8. that was like hitting a jackpot somehow… it’s amazing what deep footprint Sam left on the heart of the people he met… Sam should get a medal for all the good moments he brought to the people…

  9. OMP – this actually brought tears to our eyes here at the Hotel Thompson. Oh sweet friends – you are such a jewel to everyone. Hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

  10. Hi Monika! This is such a touching story. It’s great to know how your therapy work with Sam is touching others at very difficult times in their lives and his less than perfect knuckleheadness, probably only makes him more endearing.
    Speaking of knuckleheads, someone let Lady out this afternoon and she disappeared. Our son took off down to the beach hoping to find her there and then a message came through on my phone and she was almost runover down the street so some lovely neighbours took her in. So she is safe and sound back home. Naughty dog. Bilbo doesn’t run off even if the door or gate is open but I think he’s rather exceptional.
    Hope you’re having a great week!
    xx Ro

      1. Thanks, Monika. She’s almost forgiven. Mind you, it turns out that the screen door can be a bit tricky and looks like it’s closed when it’s ever so slightly open and only needs a nudge from a nose to open sesame and set the rascal free. xx Ro

          1. Definitely. Also, dogs tend to fixate and while we might not notice that ever so slightly open door, the dog will…just like Bilbo can sniff out a tennis ball that’s well and truly gone into hiding.

              1. I read you talking about the squirrels before and I’d love to see them in real life. We don’t have them here but I can imagine the dogs going for them big time.
                My son and I were playing Scrabble today and Lady’s enthusiastic tail just managed to clear the board but then Bilbo was chasing a fly through the lounge room and the board went flying. The game was pretty much over at this point and it was funny than annoying but I do have my moments of ponder why kids or dogs…
                I gather Elsa is tugging on the lead chasing squirrels. Have you tried a Halti collar? Bilbo used to have one of these. I almost became airborne when I walked him to the beach. I’m dashing off to dancing. Catch you later xx Ro

                1. I have used the Halti collars with less success. When you have a flying projectile, jerking their head back is not good for their neck and with Elsa’s epilepsy I don’t dare try anything like that. Ah yes, those table clearing tails. And they always seem to be attached to a very happy pooch. Swish, swish! Happy pirouette-ing❣️

  11. What a wonderful, and poignant story! Sam is indeed a remarkable dog and you do great work with him!! A good memory in sorrowful times! I used to have a little Jack Russell, Brit, who was my colleague when I worked as a child therapist with children with PTS. She was 18 when she passed away, and I still miss her. She brought a lot of good memories to many little lost souls. Cheers from Ohio, Johanna

    1. Cheers indeed, Johanna. These so-called ‘dumb’ animals are remarkable when it comes to providing just what uprights need. I’m always blown away at their abilities to know exactly what is necessary in each situation. We continue to miss them when they leave which means they are a part of our hearts. ღ

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