Mental Health Thursday ~ October 4, 2018

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a couple of days visiting with mental health patients. Sam here. First we visited at the Senior Behavioral Center and then the next day at West Pines. Talk about feeling blessed beyond measure.

Waiting to go to work

It was a glorious day for a visit, one of those cornflower blue Colorado skies with a golden autumn light to make me look good after a nice floof job by mom. I’m still not keen on the bath thing, but visiting with mental health patients makes up for it.

At the Behavioral Center, we visited with a really nice lady named Agatha (all names have been changed in accordance with HIPAAΒ privacy regs) and she was one of the nicest patients I’ve visited with in a long time. We visited with a couple other patients in the Day Room who seemed to enjoy my attention and then I went in to Agatha’s room for a one-on-one. She couldn’t stop saying what a nice boy I was, so naturally my tail went into overdrive. Yeah, I. am. shameless. when it comes to attention but seriously, she was so sweet and kind to me and rubbed my ears just the way I like it. Swoon. We visited for a long while and she told mom stories about all the German Shepherds she owned over the years. While she doesn’t have one now while she’s transitioning to a new living arrangement, she misses having a dog in her life so I just ‘made her day’ (her words, not mine).

The next day we went to West Pines. I absolutely love all the peeps there. I visited with Suki who spoke to me in a low melodic voice, I practically melted looking into her kind, soft eyes. Then I met Rachel who owned 3 Standard Poodles! She was missing them very much while she was receiving care so my visit was very welcomed. She talked so much with my mom that we were late visiting with other patients throughout the campus. Oops. Sometimes mom loses track of time when someone is enthusiastic about my breed but I try not to hold it against her. Then again, I know exactly how to get her back on walks. {snicker}

As we were ready to leave the main reception area, I was visiting with a man who had come to pick up his wife. Guess who his wife was? Yup, my fur-iend, Suki waltzed through the doors and squealed with delight when she saw me. She then told her husband to stop ‘wearing me out’ saying she thought I might be ‘full.’ Mom said I was full alright, but I think she meant something else. I snuck in a tiny little kiss and she smiled deeply.Β I’m very happy she got to go home and mom wished her well as we left.

All in all, we had such meaningful visits both for me and for the patients. I love it when they enjoy my tail wagging escapades and I’m happy to sit, listen and stare deep into their eyes. Sometimes I see a lot of hurt behind those eyes but then they seem to brighten for a few moments and their eyes show some momentary relief to the often chaotic lives they are experiencing. Life can be hard and overwhelming-we all know that, but when I can bring a moment of cheer and make them feel a little better, then I’ve done my job. And so long as mom doles out loads of treats, then she’s done hers as well.

Live, love, bark! 🐾


61 thoughts on “Mental Health Thursday ~ October 4, 2018

  1. Pets are awesome for mental health! I got a cat who changed my life. Not many people understand that but it’s nice to connect with animals because they always listen, never judge, and don’t talk back

    1. Indeed pets do just that. Thank you for swinging by the Ranch; we πŸ’– visitors, especially those who recognize the powerful connection pets have with uprights.

  2. Positive attitude is a big plus, not always easy to achieve see my blog for a book that I recommend to all that is inspirational and uplifting and raises awareness and funds for three mental health charities, written by people suffering from or supporting people suffering from mental health.

    1. Thank you for the reblog. We love being able to spread some cheer, even if just for a few minutes. And thanks for swinging by our Ranch; we πŸ’– visitors.

  3. Reading this melted my heart. Dogs are such amazing animals. On a different note, I encourage everybody reading this to please volunteer somewhere at least once in your life. It will not only improve the lives of the people (or animals) of the place you go, but it will change your life forever.

  4. We do not have Hospital Dogs here but we have a growing number of “School Dogs” that is dogs who are trained to go into school and sit quietly and let the little children read to them. . No not for Benji I fear, he would not be able to sit still long enough and he would be more of a distraction than an asset, but the reading dog visits are helping the children with their literacy and their confidency, which is all good. Sam, you do a great job and you deserve all the attention you get. It’s a rewarding two-way street.

    1. We love the idea of reading dogs! I may have to find a program for Sam after his hospital days are over.

  5. Sam, you are such a beautiful boy and don’t forget that as well as spreading your joy in the hospitals etc you also do the same here on the blog. I saw that your Mum has read a post I wrote this week about how my daughter got her first pair of pointe shoes after she was quite ill a few years ago. You never know what people are going through and dogs like yourself are very good at reaching through the surface at what’s going on underneath. We have three dogs here and each one has their own personality and gift to us humans. Lady just loves wagging her tail and is such a happy, but rather mellow dog. The two pups are very energetic and love chasing things and that energy is also very uplifting and they’re very funny. Mind you, Zac can be quite an attention seeker and likes to howl, which makes it sound like he’s been mortally wounded. We were walking down the street and came across a bulldog and Zac was disappointed when it walked away and started howling and someone thought he’d been attacked. I’m sure you’d never do anything like that, Sam.
    Best wishes,

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Sam rarely makes sounds (he reserves that for the serial killer mail lady who he actually adores once the door is opened 😁) and is a tail wagging fool whenever he encounters anyone, be they on 2 legs or 4. He does have a natural ability finding the person who needs him most and tries to lighten their emotional load.

    1. Be careful what you ask for…you could end up with another Ducky-type dog! πŸ˜‡

  6. It is so awesome that you can help brighten someone’s day just by getting pet. We are proud to call you our friend. β™₯

  7. Lots of treats?? Angel Lexi here. I only got one treat at the beginning and again at the end. But of course I was only bringing joy to SICK and DYING KIDS, and we all know they don’t count as much. Hurumph. (No, I have not lost my hard-earned sense of sarcasm.)

    1. You needed a better lobbyist dear Angel. I get a treat if I perform a special trick for peeps. Otherwise I just look simple minded (which isn’t all that hard). BOL

    1. He can be a real pill at times (can you say stubborn?) but he truly is a gem when it comes to visiting at the hospital. πŸ˜‡

  8. If I was receiving care there, I would hug Sam hard and not want to let go. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be there and how lonely it must be without a dog to sleep with.

  9. Sam, you are such a natural at your job! We can just feel how much joy you bring to these people that need it so much. β™₯

    1. Thank you! He really is a natural but definitely a whole different job from when he’s at home. πŸ˜‡

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Sam does all the work, I just drive and bring the treats. 😊

  10. Sam you are pawsitively inspirational.
    HuMom’s oldest & best furiend started pet therapy in her home town Toronto many many moons ago.
    What a wagnificent way for both you & your mom to giveπŸ’œ
    I get the baths now.
    Sadly, I am a reactive dog & would be far to stressed in such an environment.
    Q would be better but she is, you didn’t hear this from me, getting on & doesn’t leave the property very often.
    Paws up to you my furiend.

    πŸ’œ nose nudges πŸ’œ

    1. You’re too kind, Olivia. I know all about that reaction stuff. Elsa can be like that for no apparent reason. She can be sweet as pie and then turn into demon dog. I can’t seem to figure out what triggers her but find carrying a pocket full of treats helps her. Because of her epilepsy I don’t want her getting too stressed either so we try to make it as easy as possible for her. Sam is the sweetheart; he is happy to go along with the flow, whatever it is. Ears scratches to you and Q.

    1. Hopefully those are tears of joy at the prospect of sharing a few minutes with some very lovely peeps.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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