Thursday, December 20, 2007

May 2007

3 visits to the hospital. 2 visits to assisted living and "Safe Harbor" (Alzheimer's unit) What I enjoy about visiting at the living centers is that you see the same folks each visit. We establish relationships and our visits are on the "events" list. "OH - I was happy to see you were coming today. I look forward to seeing Rissa!" One of my favorite people to visit is a woman in "Safe Harbor" - she frequently is asleep on the couch when we visit after lunch... Rissa nuzzles her hand as if saying "HI - I'm here" - the woman wakes with a HUGE smile on her face. She lights up. You just know somewhere in her past she loved dogs.... She has limited verbal capabilities now BUT if she could - I'm sure she would tell me some wonderful memories of dogs and animals she had in her life. When I tell her we are leaving and we will see her next time - she manages to say "Kiss" - I ask her if she wants a kiss from Rissa and she nods yes..... Rissa always obliges.... Other events this month - we participated in the "Business of Reading" week at a local elementary school. Rissa and I read to a 5th grade class on the importance of reading and how it related to pet therapy work and READ.... I quickly lost control of the class and Rissa gained their attention totally. She couldn't have been happier than a pig in mud - lying in the middle of a class with a bunch a kids petting her. We departed giving them all book marks from Rissa - with the knowledge that we would probably be their favorite reader that week! We were also one of the honorees at the a volunteer luncheon for our service at the hospital. Miss Rissa got a certificate and her picture with the "king"... Volunteers Rock was the theme and Bruce Nye the Elvis Guy was the entertainment. As usual - Rissa was a lady. I feel so fortunate to have adopted Rissa(and Timber) - I can't believe I said NO for 6 months that my friend/breeder asked me if I wanted her..... NO, NO, NO I said. I had just lost my other chocolate lab and still had my senior citizen, Jordan. Then, I agreed to adopt Rissa and Timber together..... I can't imagine my life without them now and the totally different direction it has taken doing the pet therapy work and other dog activities. We also did our first READ session at the local library!!

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