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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sometimes You Just Need A Paw

 I've mentioned before that we do nursing home visits with the dogs.  These happen on Thursday nights, and a lot of times it's hard to get motivated to turn around and go after a long day at work.  Sometimes we indulge ourselves and stay home, but we try not to miss going.  Of course, this week was even tougher when Blueberry limped into the kitchen while Bunny and I were packing up and wagged her tail in that hopeful way that she does when she wants to go somewhere with us.  I told her it was going to take a bit more rest and that she needed to go lay down and keep Lilac company. 

When I started visiting nursing homes with Treat, I'm sure that she wasn't perfect, but it's hard to remember that.  There was gentle coaching and training that happened, and she had a natural aptitude for visiting.  She was tolerant enough to let a little old blind lady poke at her face and fuss with her collar.  Going up to people to say hi became natural for her and there was never any medical equipment or condition that ever deterred her.  I admit that when I started visiting with Bunny after Treat had passed, it was hard for me not to resent starting over a little bit and also not to just miss her perfection after working and working with Bunny to try to get her to do what I wanted.

That's not to say that Bunny doesn't do well, though.  She does and the people there are always thrilled to see her.  I guess part of it is just that insecure part of me inside that everyone has who worries that everyone else's dog is doing so much better at visiting than my own.  It's still hard for me not to think of her as the inexperienced youngster of the group.  There are some dogs in our group who have been visiting longer than Bunny has been alive.  I can't expect her to behave as if she has more experience than her short life has been blessed with.  I suppose it's the same thing I did as a kid, too, only acting up and embarrassing my parents when there were other people to witness the event.  Sorry Mom and Dad!   It was Julie who made me do it.

Most of the visits we make are unremarkable and not really worth talking a lot about.  They're just ordinary visits that allow me to share my dog with others, tell stories and forget about the cares of my day, and be transported through many elderly people's words back to times of dogs who lived long ago.  Recently, we added a new Thursday visit to our roster at a new facility that quite honestly is so nice that I wish I could live there.   It's a very new, modern facility, but it feels so homey and comfortable.  The residents all have rooms, but there are different little lounges throughout the place and it's a very common sight to see groups of people gathered in nooks and alcoves chatting away.  The nursing staff is sweet and compassionate, too. 

While we were visiting this week, Bunny and I had walked down a hallway and around a small loop in the building.  I almost didn't go, but Bunny seemed eager to stretch her legs and I wanted to work on keeping her attention on me, so we set off to see if anyone wanted to chat.  In the far back hallway, we met a woman who said that there was a lady who was laying down and she needed to get some help for her.  I wasn't quite sure what she was talking about, but in order to try to keep her calm, I agreed that I'd see what I could do.  We went around a corner and found a woman lying on the floor in the middle of the hallway.  Definitely not good! 

I walked around her and leaned down to ask if she was okay.  She smiled and said something about needing to get back up, and I could see her wheelchair a bit behind her.  I remembered seeing her in the chair earlier.  I told her that her friend had gone to get help and that I'd just stay there with her until help got there.  I sat in the floor beside her and Bunny laid down.  She wanted to hold someone's hand, and darned if Bunny didn't offer her paw while I held the other hand.  I was pretty surprised, but Bunny laid there quietly, leaning down to sniff the lady from time to time and distract her while we waited for the nurse's aide to find the head nurse to help get the woman moved a little to see if she was alright.  Several of the people in our group walked by and commented on her sweet behavior. 

I honestly can say that I have been proud of Bunny over a lot of things, but this one was one that I will remember as one of her sweetest moments.  With all the ugliness that we see in the world from people, sometimes it's nice just to have a paw to hold on to.  I'll always believe that the world would be a better place if we all took a moment to behave more like our dogs!


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57 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story for such a beautiful dog! We are so proud of her. I love how dog's instinct take over when we let do what they do best. Thank for such a warm hearted story. And we agree, if we all acted like our dogs, the world would be a better place.

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  2. Oh Bunny, you brought tears to my eyes. What a good girl, your mommy must be so proud.

    I admire your dedication.

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  3. "... the world would be a better place if we all took a moment to behave more like our dogs!"

    Agreed! What a sweet girl!

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  4. Fab post. Well done Bunny. Too that story my mum would have said 'it's becase Bunny just knew....'

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  5. Hello,
    Just hopping on by via SPBH. You have a lovely blog with some great postings, I adore your pink coat very swish! I would love it if you could stop by and say hello.
    Helen x
    http://acraftykindoftruffle.blogspot.com

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  6. Bunny knew exactly what to do, that's wonderful and she's a very good girl. One of my cats puts his paw in my hand sometimes when I'm lying down watching tv. It's so neat to make that connection. I admire you and Bunny for taking your time out to keep others less fortunate company. What a great example.

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  7. Clever Bunny for making your mum so proud and helping comfort the lady who had fallen.

    I am proud of you too. You may be young Bunny but you're a hound with a big heart and lots of love to share.

    Love and Licks, Winnie

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  8. That was a lovely story. Was the lady alright? Bless Bunny's sweet, loving heart.

    Jed & Abby

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  9. Aw, that was a wonderful thing for Bunny (and you) to do. I admire you for doing the nursing home visits; that must really brighten their days!

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  10. Awww ... and you wondered if she was doing as well as other dogs! Sweet Bunny. You know, I've noticed that every therapy dog is different, and brings something of his or her self to the visit. Some of them are lively and outgoing, some (like my wonderful Princess, now sadly gone) are incredibly quiet and restful and willing just to 'be'. She was perfect for her deaf-blind people, and Bunny was perfect for your lady-on-the-floor. Seems she's showing a little initiative!

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  11. Yay for Bunny! and your Mom :) Best girl scouts of the day :D Bet that lady felt real special with you two in attendance :)

    Waggin at ya,
    Roo

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  12. Seems like Bunny knew just where to lead you that night. Thanks for spreading the awesomeness of dogs through your community!

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  13. What a sweet story. We enjoy our visits with Cheoah and know they brighten days. And we have so many stories of wonderful dogs that are waiting at the Bridge.

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  14. Woof! Woof! Oh! BUNNY... your so sweet n loving.
    Happy BLOG HOP Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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  15. That, my friend, made me cry. That was very observant of Bunny to know that this lady needed her like that. I love what you are doing taking the dogs to places like that. It takes a special person and a special dog to be able to do that. We took our greys to an assisted living facility here. My sister's grey Boris was a natural at it. By the time we left, he was stopping at every door, waiting for someone to speak so he could go in. Greyt work Bunny!

    P.S. I hope Blueberry is doing better!

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  16. Such a sweet story. I have an impression of Bunny as a sensitive and sweet soul. This story shows me how true that is. You both are wonderful.

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  17. Now I'm teary-eyed. Bless Bunny! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "There's something truly special about greyhounds, and greyhound people!" I think it's awesome that you and Bunny volunteer your time to share moments like these at nursing homes. I know if I were in that nursing home, I would look forward to your every visit.

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  18. What a fantastic job Bunny did to the lady! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. I am so proud of her too. It is so true that we sometimes should learn and behave like our dogs, they are the genuine teachers of life! Sweet Bunny, bless her heart!

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  19. SUCH a sweet story! Bunny you are one fine dog! :-)

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  20. SIGH... and that is why we make these visits. You never know when you might be there at just the right moment.
    Excellent Job Bunny!!!!!!

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  21. That was a beautiful little moment. Well done Bunny!

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  22. We love hearing stories like that. Dogs understand more that we think and this was a perfect example. Bunny, you did good!!

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  23. Hello! Eddie Greyhound's (off FB) mum here! You may remember we do therapy visits to old people too. What a great story. Moments like that makes it more obvious, but even just the "everyday" visists make such a difference to the old folks. It is hard sometimes when there is a lot going on in our lives to get ourselves there, but I always come away so happy I did go! Keep up the good work!

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  24. Let's try this again -

    Last attempt khrashed us ;-(

    LES achieved here -

    Thanks fur sharing those special moments!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra
    PeeEssWoo: I think Bunny makes a pawesome Siberian!

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  25. I don't mean to laugh at you, more I am laughing at myself, but the line where you said you worry the other dogs are doing a better job than Bunny at visiting made me snort. It sounded so silly but it is something straight out of my own brain. So I understand, please don't think I am making fun. Why do we worry over such things?

    It doesn't matter if one dog is slightly calmer than Bunny, or if Bunny is slightly sweeter than another. It is about you being there, cheering others up, taking the time to make a difference. I think what you do is wonderful! You should be proud of yourself and Bunny and I am sure you are. I just don't know if you are as proud as you should be. :-)

    But yes, I totally agree. Dogs are way better humanitarians than humans themselves. We have much to learn from them.

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  26. What a great story!
    Happy Day
    Benny & Lily

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  27. What a lovely moment!

    Nubbin wiggles,
    Oskar

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  28. miss taleteller,

    that is such a beautimous picture in my mind...you holdin' the lady's one hand, and miss bunny holdin' the lady's other hand. what sweet comfort. :)

    *woof*
    the booker man

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  29. Great job, Bunny! You are so full of sweetness!!!

    Wags,
    Zona

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  30. Oh Bunny, you are an angel. I'd pick you to comfort me too :) Good job girl!

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  31. Bunny really is a very special dog!
    Dogs are angels without wings!

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  32. That was such a lovely story!

    Thank you so much for sharing it.

    best wishes
    Clive and Murray

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  33. What a beautiful story, and so true! That's adorable about Bunny offering her paw. :)

    -Lauren


    I have information about a Cutest Pet contest on my blog if you wanna check it out!!

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  34. AW, Bunny! We couldn't agree more!

    Our mom used to work at a hospital. The long-term re-hab unit was in her building. One day as she was leaving work, a man was sitting outside in his wheelchair. A young woman brought him a big white shepherd dog.

    Well, it jumped up, put it's big front paws on the man's sholders and gently wagged its tale, and the man just began sobbing and sobbing and hugging the dog, and the dog was licking the man's face. It was such a beautiful moment to witness the love between them.

    It was clear they both needed each other in order for the man to recover from his injuries.

    Thanks for sharing Bunny's sweet story!

    -The RottRovers

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  35. This was the best story yet. I'm with you. If we behaved more like our dogs, we'd all get along a whole lot better. There'd be the initial sniff and then we'd all play and have a good time. Bunny was so sweet to the lady. It's wonderful that she visits the elderly as well. We will all get there some time and it's wonderful to know that nice people with nice doggies will come and visit us.

    Well done! Bravo and Hat's off! This was great. I checked "loved it" in the comment box.

    Your Pal,
    Opie

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  36. That is such a sweet story! Way to go, Bunny! Our Mama says, if she ever fell and couldn't get up, she would feel much better if she could hold Bunny's paw too. (Or OUR paws would do, in a pinch, we hope!)

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  37. What a sweet story! Bunny knew just what that lady needed - we hope you got a photo of that.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

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  38. What a sweet girl Bunny is! I'm sure she could tell the lady needed some help. Poor Blueberry's toe, and she had to miss the visit too. The thought of that made me sad too. I hope it heals quickly. Zephyr and Astro wanted to let the girls know that they wish they could all go on a hiking date together. They would have so much fun!

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  39. What a sweet girl!! I would be proud, too!!

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  40. Sure your knew something was going on there, Bunny!
    Good girl!
    Happy saturday!
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

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  41. This is a beautiful story and I am very proud of you, too, Bunny!

    Your pal, PIp

    P.S.: Don't think this show of compassion and generosity on your part is going to make me go all soft and let you win!

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  42. So lovely and cute to see you with your pink coat
    It looks adorable !!!!!
    You are a very sweet beautiful girl :-)

    Hugs to all
    Kareltje =^.^= Betsie =^.^=

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  43. Sorry I was on my personal account :P

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  44. There's so much we can learn from animals, especially dogs and Bunny showed the way, well done and we are so proud of you. Thanks for sharing with us such beautiful story.

    Licks, hero

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  45. What a beautiful post! Bunny knew just what that woman needed at that time :) Mom is thinking of working with Ellie and getting her Canine Good Citizen so she can go with her to nursing homes like you and Bunny. She says you are an inspiration!!

    Pugs & kisses,

    Yoda, Brutus & Ellie

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  46. How amazing! I bet you wish you had a picture of that moment. That being said, I can really envision the scene in my head! Kudos to you & Bunny!

    Michelle

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  47. Great post...Another teary one for me. Glad you guys were able to brighten the woman's wait. Way to go Bunny!!!

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  48. Oh, Bunny...I'm so proud of you AND your mom for being there for that lady. Sometimes it seems like in life we're in just the right place we're supposed to be at just the right time. Thank you both for the kindness you showed.

    Wiggles & Wags,
    Mayzie

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  49. What a lovely story. Bunny, you are an angel!

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  50. What a wonderful thing to read!! Bless Bunny's baby fur'heart!!
    Karen

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  51. Bunny is one of the sweetest dogs around. They always know what to do when there's a situation. Thanks for sharing this story with us :)

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