May 13, 2011
This afternoon, Luci and I invited Harold, my husband, to accompany us on our nursing home therapy visit. He accepted the invitation by saying, “Might as well !” He has a friend from church that is a resident there and wanted to visit him. Many times I have expressed my feelings of a grateful heart and humbled spirit after these visits and wanted him to experience this for himself !
Luci displayed her usual excitement when we were preparing to go ! She knows where are headed and is jumping with joy ! Upon arrival, she is ready to get out of the car and we make a run or two around the facility before going in for our visit. Her energy level is super high and this 15 minute walk helps calm her along with tending to her potty needs ! I talk to her about being quiet and staying right with me when we go inside. She has learned to these commands and does quite well.
We visited first with our hospice patient, Ms. Brown, (not her real name) who was sitting in her wheelchair at the nurses station. She was happy to see us and it was apparent that meeting Mr. DeLoach lifted her spirits considerably ! Of course, Luci was right by her side and Ms. Brown, was ready to procede to the Commons Area for our visit. We like to visit in this open area so that other residents can come by and greet and meet Luci and pet her. Ms. Brown was extra talkative and wanted to tell us a dog story in her life that she recalled so vividly. She told us that she had a pretty blonde female dog that was special to her. She and her husband lived in the country and back then, dogs ran loose. No leash laws, no rabies shots, or birth control for dogs !
One evening, rather late, Ms. Brown’s pretty blonde dog came home and had been shot in the shoulder. It was not a pretty sight and Ms. Brown knew at a glance that her dog was suffering terribly and wouldn’t live. She had to make a decision to let her suffer and bleed to death or to ‘put her down’ as was customary those days. She was familiar with the procedure as many country folk had to ‘put animals down’ when injured and destined to die. Ms. Brown’s decision was to her the most humane, and ‘put her down’ with one bullet from the family gun. Ms Brown appeared to be back in that exact moment when whe told us this story, in which, no doubt was true and sincere. Ms Brown said she really missed her beloved dog for a long time and grieved over her passing.
We met a new resident, Ms. Black (not her real name) and of course, she too, had a dog story for us ! Long ago, she and her husband lived in the country and had a female ‘pug dog’ that was the love of their lives. The unusual characteristic of this dog was that she could snore as loud as her husband and sometimes, even louder ! She began to laugh as she continued the story ! One hot summer night, ( no AC back then) they all went to bed with all windows and doors open, hoping for a good night’s rest. Lil Pug and Mr. Brown began their competitive snoring upon falling asleep. As a matter of fact, Lil Pug snored louder than Mr. Brown, awakening him ! It was time for Lil Pug to go outdoors and sleep on the front porch.! Mr. Brown gave stern orders to Lil Pug to go outside to sleep ! As fate would have it, Ms Brown continued…Lil Pug went under their frame home that was elevated off the ground and got right under the floor where their bedroom was located ! Soon, Lil Pug began snoring and could be heard by his owners almost as if he were in the room ! Ms. Brown laughed all the way through telling her story and as she finished…it was clear that she enjoyed reliving this funny story that was embedded in her memory !
Ms. Brown enjoyed having Luci at her feet looking straight into her face. Ms. Brown held out both hands to Luci and wanted her to lick her hands ! Luci complied and appeared to enjoy giving her undivided attention to Ms. Brown. Luci was enthralled with Ms. Brown and loved her right away.
Harold told me later that he was touched and moved by the many ways he saw and experienced Luci’s sensitive spirit to these ladies, and they to her. It is awesome/ amazing each time we make a pet therapy visit that is meant for the residents…ends up with touching my heart and soul to a depth I can't explain. Spiritual experiences can't be explained and not meant to be...it's between us and God. Unconditional love and wanting to please is Luci's work in this world. She does it so easily and naturally...God made animals for us to enjoy and for companionship. All my life since a
a depth I can't explain. Spiritual experiences can't be explained and not meant to be...it's between us and God.
Unconditional love and wanting to please is Luci's work in this world. She does it so easily and naturally...God made animals for us to enjoy and for companionship. All my life since a
child, I've heard that 'dog is man's best friend' and that dog spelled backward is GOD. Is this a coincidence ?
Sheri DeLoach, Author