Monthly Archives: May 2018

Mental Health Thursday

How can I help you?

We visited West Pines yesterday (read about a previous visit here and the kinds of patients we see) and noticed that most of the staff were wearing green remembrance ribbons attached to their ID badges. When I asked what the occasion was, they said it was Mental Health week. I didn’t find anything online about it (it could have been a hospital campaign although I note it was Mental Health week in the UK from May 16 through May 22).

In any event, Sam was ready to provide his own version of therapy for a number of staff and patients. Here are some of Dogtor Sam’s therapy session notes.

From the moment we walked into the facility, Sam realized there was work to do. Not one to shirk his duties, he began even before our chaperone arrived to take us on our rounds. He   strolled over to a visitor sitting in the lobby. She sheepishly asked if she could pet Sam and as soon as the words came out of her mouth, he was standing next to her, tail-a-wagging. She got down on the carpet and looked deeply into his eyes. She bent close to him and whispered something in his ear. His tail wagged even more feverishly and he sat next to her while she began to massage his ears. It was the beginning of many massages for the furry therapist.

Sam saw several people, all of whom genuinely enjoyed seeing him. But his most memorable visit was with “Sarah,” a tall, thin woman with a vacant stare. She politely asked to face him as she sat in a chair and began stroking him gently. He looked deep into her eyes and seemed as if he was completely mesmerized by her gaze. She told me of her own service dog but I’m reluctant to quiz patients about their personal lives (HIPAA plus it’s really not my place to question them). It’s better just to let them share whatever they want. I could tell she was missing her service companion greatly but seemed more than happy to spend time with Sam. A few moments after she sat in front of him, a young bearded fellow came over and sat next to Sam. It seemed too much for her to have someone in such close proximity and she got up and moved to the other side of the day room but keep a watchful eye on her new furry friend. The young man sat and talked to both Sam and I, saying how much he enjoyed dogs and how much they seem drawn to him. Sam was enjoying his presence and after a few minutes sitting on the floor, he decided to get up and move around to loosen up a sore hip. As soon as he left, Sarah returned and sat down cross-legged on the floor in front of him. Sam seemed to realize she needed more of the kind of therapy he can provide and sat patiently with her. Soon he was laying on his side next to her while her fingers returned to massaging him in his favorite spots. A few of the staff commented at how relaxed Sam was and I noticed Sarah seemed more relaxed too. My heart swelled at the thought of this knucklehead making Mental Health Week a little more pleasant for a few peeps in need.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordy Wednesday ~ May 23, 2018

Today we are visiting our friends at West Pines after some terrific visits yesterday at the main hospital and at hospice. We’ll share some remarkable adventures (hopefully) later this week but wanted to let you know the ‘Dogtor’ is in the house treating patients and staff. At the sound of the tone, please leave a number and we’ll get back to you to schedule an appointment.

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In solidarity

Here I was trying to get Sam all spiffed up for today and tomorrow’s visits and look who came to his defense. Elsa laid on the floor in front of the tub the whole time I was bathing the long-suffering Sam. Do you think she’d be happy to take one for her brother? Yeah, me neither.

Help me!!

Live love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings

After a way too short of a visit with my granddaughter who’s visiting from Hawaii, it’s back to business as usual. As Miss Hailey leaves for her return flight this morning, we will prepare to make preparations for Sam’s hospital visits beginning tomorrow and will fondly reflect back at these two inseparable girls. How was your weekend?

Live love, bark! 🐾

Floral Friday ~ May 18, 2018

It’s Friday, one of our favorite days. The weather should be a tad cooler (and if we’re real lucky, there will be a spot of rain in the forecast) after temps have been hovering in the 80’s this week. The garden is really coming to life. Next week we’ll be at the hospital visiting patients and hopefully making folks smile. Till then we plan to stop and smell the flowers as the garden continues to burst into color and bloom. Have a wonderful weekend-have you got any special plans?

Take time to stop and smell the flowers.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Here’s to passing Go.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Clean Up Tuesday

You can tell once spring has definitely arrived. The fair-weather peeps come out after hibernating in front of fireplaces all winter long and start to take their pups for walks now. They are out in full force in my ‘hood these days but many of them seemed to have left a couple of very important things back at home. Their consideration and their dog bags. 

As our friend Jodi from Heart Like a Dog so aptly refers to them, the DADOs (dumb a$$ dog owners) are out in full force now that spring has finally sprung. What the heck people…were you raised by wolves? No, of course you weren’t. Wolves are raised in highly social and respectful packs. Growl!

Are the DADO’s without poop bags out in force in your ‘hood?

Life, love, bark! 🐾