Sunday, December 16, 2018

dec 16 2018
you win some , you lose some...  yesterday i was feeling poorly to not be invited to request a grant- and then at mail call someone has offered  about the same amount... for use in some program yet to be desigened.

well we already have the program... now we can keep it going...  the  "road trips "   to assisted living , nursing homes , hospice, schools, scouting-- it has been hugely popular - origionally i wandered thru places  --- i was  readily welcomed with my perfectly behaved dogs even minus teh official therapy title... i once was a therapy dog inspector- which i gave up because of all teh paperwork involved... i know a well trained dog- i did not know what they were talking about.  -- so i wandered around on my own....  - when i had a few minutes i would walk thru any one of these places- which cheered up teh staff even if the residents were all in another world..- i never kept track-- obviously the homes nearest costco had teh most frequent visits. 

enter the team of mara and judy who struggle to get the program more organized... they do odd things like "plan ahead, schedule dates and times, record notes, phone numbers " wierd things like that .  along with clean up teh dogs if necessary, hVE TREATS and the fry pan-  check video arriangements-  rabies certificates fill gas tank  and get it all in the car- so all they have to do is load "me" - and it takes 3 to 4 hours round trip-  people love it. and it is such a great diversion for the people in these places...

to have our primary mission be service dogs for people not necessarily local,  the grant was specifically for local  projects-- the road trips is a secondary mission. 

now  without that grant, we can keep this going- becasue there is some expense to the whole thing even if my dogs and  i  are volunteers.

thank heavens for a cut and paste today-- i have a crew coming to deal with all that lumber
I wanted to share an experience I had with one of the “perfect pets” that has “paid it forward”.

My 83 yr. old mother has recently been placed under home hospice care.  It was a difficult decision but one she made on her own, to accept additional support.  Over the last few months, my father and I (I’m an “only”) have seen her health slide but the biggest change was when her 13 yr. old lab, Maggie, had a stroke and had to go to the bridge.  Maggie was her best friend and kept her feeling safe and secure in her home.  Loneliness has now become one of the largest pieces of her puzzle.  I, unfortunately, live an hour away, have a full time job and find it difficult to visit on a regular schedule.  I bring my own dog to visit, which is a scruffy greyhound mix, with A LOT of energy.  She’s not the “sit on the sofa an get pet for hours” kinda dog.  Prior to this current dog, I had adopted a Great Dane.  Her name was Katie, and was the BIGGEST lap dog EVER.  My mom LOVED her.  Unfortunately, she bloated and I had to let her sleep, just over a year ago.

Two weeks ago, I took some extended time off from work and moved into their home.  I wanted to see the care she was receiving and make changes if needed.  (Sometimes, my dad needs a kick in the a$$.)  

I have been somewhat of silent CP, but watch the cams when I can, buy bricks, helped supply fluids during the parvo incident and donated the steam mop.  Mom has watched many times too.  She thinks you are hysterical and loves your stories.

I have connected several times with one of your perfect pet owners, Sue Hutchinson, who owns Luke.  She lives under 10 miles from my parent’s house.   I sent her a message asking if she would come visit my mom.  She was nothing short of gracious, and said absolutely!  Since Luke can be a little timid, Sue suggested I come meet him first to get acquainted.  I drove out to the house.  Only to have both of her Danes great me at the top of the stairs.  Even got a little kiss from Luke!  We spent an hour together, getting to know each other and discuss my mom’s condition.

I told mom she was getting a BIG surprise!  The following day, Sue and Luke, came to my parent’s house.  Mom’s expression on her face as she saw Luke coming around the corner was priceless!  Sue came in and let Luke meet everyone.  He had much to “check out” being all “new to him” and finally let everyone pet him.  My mom was so happy and my dad couldn’t believe how big he was!  Actually, Sue and my mom, being retired nurses had some things in common.  Sue stayed about 2 hours and my mom could not have had a better day!  She was still giggling later in the day about a story Sue had told when her grandchildren put stickers all over the dog!  LOL!

I understand the goal of SDP is to provide service dogs.  But one of your perfect pets, provided an emotional support to a hospice patient in need of just having a big dog to pet.  Sue was the cherry on top!  Mom really liked her too.  She has a sense of humor which equally supported a great day.  I haven’t seen my mom actually laugh out loud for months.

Sue and Luke are doing some terrific things that I wanted to share.  I am so grateful!  (On a side note, Luke was kind enough to “mark” my coat.  I debated washing it since it was from an SDP dog.  But felt perhaps my friends might not understand my passion.  In the washer it went.  L  My monkey fist will have to do.)

Ann  from PA