Lucille’Luci’Ball became a member of our family in July 2009. My hubby bought her for me from a breeder. I had researched breeds that would make good therapy dogs for over a year. Finally decided upon a Pembroke Welsh Corgi! Not because they are the official breed for the Queen of England, but because I recognized traits and temperament that’s required for a service therapy dog! I wasn’t disappointed and in fact was elated with Luci becoming a family member at age 7 weeks. She was a tiny thing, could fit in my hubby’s hand and in my two hands, weighing about 3-4 pounds. She was sweet and cuddly from that first ride home. She slept a lot those first weeks and loved to play with everything she wasn’t to play with! All those toys we bought her just sat there…
When she was 8 months, at the request of a friend in a nursing home on hospice, I began taking Luci to visit. My friend loved Luci and wanted me to bring her every week…I did. Luci was a natural in the nursing home setting and loved it from the beginning. She loved other people there and made lots of friends. Once, my friend asked me to let Luci lay by her side in the bed and I did. Luci cozied up to her and soon was soon fast asleep! My friend couldn’t talk but made sounds of great joy as if singing for an half hour while she felt Luci’s little heart beat and smelled her puppy breath…It was a beautiful and spiritual experience, one I’ll never forget. Our friend passed on to her glory shortly after that.
I began to enroll Luci in Beginner Obedience classes at about one year of age. She did well and moved on to higher levels of training. I was taking her to nursing homes and contracted with a Hospice Service to visit their hospice patients. Luci loved this and has a sense of when people are sick and dying and her way of comforting them.
About six months ago, we were invited to join a service therapy dog group at a local hospital, called the PUPS program. Luci was a bit shy at first but soon became comfortable with other dogs and their masters. She had to be approved by the Director of the Program before accepted. The Director felt that Luci needed one more class of ‘socialization with other dogs’ before she was accepted. We took this six week course in the heat of last summer and it appeared to help in this area.
Now we are offically members of the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, PUPS Program. There are 20 in the group and we tour in small groups. Luci loves it and it’s a joy for me to take her each week. So much interaction the patients, all ages from toddlers to the very elderly. Luci has not met anyone she didn’t like! She is a people friendly dog and appears to know this is her life work! One thing though, it’s not work or a job for her, it’s fun and she absolutely loves giving out her love unconditionally!