Category Archives: Pet Therapy

Monday Musings ~ November 13, 2017

We’re off to the hospital for a few visits this week. Here’s hoping your week will be pawsome.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Hospital work can be hard as well as rewarding

We’ve spent the past several days working at the hospital lately. For my little senior citizen, it’s been a lot of time spreading joy throughout the hospital system. In addition to our actual visits with patients, we’ve been helping the program out by selling the annual calendar for next year which funds our program all year-long. The whole calendar project was grueling work for me as I helped put it together and dealt with the marketing folks who seem to reside on another planet when it comes to design…read inflexible and a printing company less inclined to work on the attendant issues that came up during the printing process. In other words, exhausting. But nothing compared to what poor Sam endures when greeting visitors in the lobby selling them on cold hard floors in the lobby. I often joke about him doing all the work and me just driving him but that really isn’t too far off the mark in all actuality, especially during the sales part.

Sam waits patiently, leash fully taunt waiting for them to buy a calendar stop and say hi as we man the sales table, his tail wagging like crazy at each passing visitor or hospital person. He tosses his head as if he knows each person as if they are some lost friend, looking longingly when they walk past by, without stopping. He turns around and walks back to stand next to me and mans his position with the hopefulness of a true optimist that the next person will stop for a moment. 

Luckily he is rewarded quickly. One of the nurses we visit with from a floor upstairs stops for a long ear scratch and shares lots of ooh’s and ah’s, the equivalent of auditory nirvana for Sam, his tail upright and flitting back and forth like a Swiffer duster hard at work. Sam loves nurses.  They are loving, kind and sweet in his mind and he can’t get enough of them.

As we work the lobby, several people ask if we would come upstairs and visit with the person they are there to see. I diligently take down the room numbers and make notes so we can swing by following our shift selling. It’s clearly gonna be a long day but one that will make lots of people happy.

And then the lottery jackpot falls into our lap. A small toddler about 3 years old walks in. She’s adorably precious with curly blonde hair and wears thick glasses. She’s not much bigger than a minute, and it was touching seeing her eye to eye with Sam. She and her mom are visiting her grandmother. She squeals with delight when she recognizes Sam and rushes over to twirl her fingers through his soft hair. Her mom explains she’s close to being blind in one eye and they are working to strengthen her vision with the glasses. The little girl smiles and coos, Sam is in heaven as he absolutely adores little kids and patiently allows her to pet him ever so gently. She leans in to kiss him to the nose. He wags his tail and looks at me as if to say, “It’s ok, right, mom?” I asked her if she’d like to give Sam a treat and she tells me “oh yes.” Sam has died and gone to heaven. A little kid AND a treat. What could be better than that?

We spent over two hours visiting with folks in the lobby, chatting about our program, showing the calendar to countless people showing them Sam is Mr. May and featured in another photo in the calendar demonstrating what we do. I can see he is tired. All this ministering to people and their various emotions as they come to the hospital taxes him. It taxes me too. We go upstairs and visit with those who requested it and by the time we leave, it’s been over 3 hours of non-stop therapy work. Even a young dog would be spent but I knew Sam was particularly tuckered out. So tuckered out in fact, he never flinched when his sister greeted him in his bed when we arrived home. Normally he’d go off to find another comfy spot. Instead, he just laid there letting her curl up next to him. In her own way, I think she was providing some well needed therapy for Sam. It was the end of a very special day for a hardworking pup.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ October 23, 2017

Holy cow, last week was a blur of daily commitments (about which we’ll hopefully have a post to share soon). It looks like this week is going to be almost as busy with more hospital work. Whew! Hopefully the parking lot will be completely repaved now so we don’t have to walk a marathon after parking. This parking experience has been a real “adventure” driving around from building to building to find a spot during the construction project that repaved the lot in sections and has been going on for the past 2 months. Ok, enough whining, we’re off to get ready for today’s hospital work but before we go, here’s a little smile to begin this week. Watch out for those clippers and where you park. 

 We hope life at your end of Blogville has been treating you well. Make it a great one!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ September 25, 2017

Happy Monday, sports fans. Hope you had a marvelous weekend. Last Friday we broke a temperature record hitting 92 but then in a blink of an eye, autumn arrived with cooler temps and some much welcomed rain. Good thing I pulled out the long pants and sweaters because the mornings are crisp hovering in the mid-40’s.

When we visited hospice last week, I spent a few minutes in the chapel contemplating some of our visits and came across this saying from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I thought it was a beautiful sentiment and hoped it provided the visitors some measure of comfort. As it turned out, it seemed especially poignant with one of the patients, a young fellow who had the largest crowd of visitors I’ve ever seen at hospice. In fact, there were too many people to fit in his room at any given time. We met up with a number of them in one of the anterooms. Clearly this man was well-loved by his tribe. All his visitors were well tattooed, wore lots of leather and more than a few pony tails hung down the back of several of the guys. Even though we weren’t actually able to see him personally, I guessed he probably had some of the same tats, pony tail and no doubt the same road warrior twinkle in his eyes that his visitors displayed as Sam made the rounds with them. They seem to channel that their lifestyle was a total joy riding down the road, with the wind in their faces. Perhaps that’s why the Emerson quote resonated so much with me that I made a note of it and why I added it to a spider web photo taken near Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

And so friends, I would encourage you to live deeply today, and always. You never know what direction the road in life may take you.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎


Magic Grooming Dust

Sooo, remember how we said we’re doing visits this week at the hospital. Sam here. And you know what that means? NURSES!!! Woo-hoo. Er…I mean seeing patients. Yeah, I love everyone I get to visit with but I especially love my nurse friends. They make the preparations tolerable.

H.E.L.P. me

First of course there’s that water torture thing. I just don’t get why we have to do this every time we go to the hospital. I mean, the nurses would love me even if I didn’t smell like a million bucks and was hospital clean. *Dog sigh* Mom keeps telling me it’s a regulation and we have to do it but that she’ll sprinkle some feel good magic dust on before she starts the second part of the torture getting ready. The haircut. Not a fan.

Well I don’t know what happened but she sprinkled the stuff all over me and nothing. I mean NOTHING. I think her bottle is expired and well past it’s “Best by Date” frankly. How in the world do you not have magic dust that works when you’re constantly going to woo the nurses visit patients. Sheesh woman! I got a reputation to live up to, don’t ya know?

Well…so there I was, a near drowned rat, expired magic dust and a smirking mom. Oh brother. The shame and humility of it all. With my sister making fun of me, to boot from the other room. Hey…how’s about I take a big dump down one of the empty hospital corridors where administrative offices are located to embarrass you? Oh wait, yeah, I did do that once. Not sure what caused that. I suspect foul play or another batch of bad/expired magic dust. Anyway, that’s a story for another time, woman.

We went to West Pines yesterday and thank goodness everyone there seemed to know I needed extra attention and ear scratches for enduring all the horrible torture. We visited with a guy named Bob who wouldn’t talk to anyone but he talked and smiled broadly with me. Another guy named Chris came by and told me stories about his Pomeranian/Pekingese mix dog. It sounded like she was a sweetie but not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Whaddu mean mom, saying he could have been referring to me? Not funny! Didn’t I perform my one and only trick of licking my chops for a treat, on command. With tongue on both sides even and one more time just to impress everyone? All on command? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Man, are all your pawrents as demanding as my mom? And as forgetful about how utterly adorable you are accommodating them? Jeez.

We did visit with loads of patients and let them hug me, rub my ears and I made them smile. Even the staff was thrilled to see me. Seems I’m a hit with nurses AND mental health care providers. Good thing too, since my mom can’t seem to deliver on the magic dust to take away the dog grooming blues.

We’re going back today to see more patients at the Senior Behavioral Health floor and also visit with people over at hospice. Wish me luck with the nurses patients! My mom has been working on the annual calendar to fund our pet therapy program that will go on sale next week. She found all the famous author monthly quotes for it (there’s even one in there who we all know and love, M.K. Clinton from Barking from the Bayou) and added all the howlidays for 2018. She will review the proofs this weekend. Word has it I’m a centerfold in one of the Spring months and was also captured showing off my dogtor skills in the lobby with my mom and a patient. We’ll keep you posted. Friday is our fur-iend Speedy the Cheeky House Bunny’s annual pirate party. Hope to see you there, mateys!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Word(y) Wednesday

We off to visit with patients for the next few days but will return to share adventures along hospital corridors. Have a groovy Hump Day.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

2017 Annual Potluck Awards

Hiya, Sam here. We recently attended our hospital’s annual recognition get-together and I was surprised that mom and I have logged 135 visits over the past 4 years. This year’s ‘trophy’ was a plaque. You can see previous trophies from 2015 and 2016 here and here. The peeps make a big deal out of it but it’s really no big deal and I wasn’t all that excited. Mom forgot to get a photo of me receiving my plague but then took one after we got home when I was trying to catch up on a few 💤. I’m all about getting ear scratches at those events, well that and maybe a cheese cube…or ten from the lunch. Despite a lower turnout (our numbers are down this year with the passing of several dogs), it was still fun to see all our fur-iends. I’m so proud of the work everyone does. One of the dogs had 704 visits over a period of 11 years. I think he must live at the hospital!

Seriously mom, stop taking pictures of me with the plaque. Just put it with the others that you need to dust every week. But give me a treat for being a good boy, okay?


Live, love, bark! ❤︎