Friday, May 04, 2012

Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) Last Night at D'ville Nursing and Rehab

Well, what a night it was!  I took Sami instead of Lucy, due to the storms.  Left Lucy shaking and panting on top of my bed!  Sami was happy to pinch hit for her, she always loves to go.  She is a good therapy dog if I can just keep her from kissing everyone she sees!

We visited with Warren, our African American gentleman who is bedridden and w
ho can’t speak.  We approached and I asked if he wanted to see Sami tonight and he nodded that yes, he did.  We moved to the bed and he slowly moved his hand from underneath the covers.  I helped put his hand on Sami’s head and he pet her for a bit.  When he was done, he slowly moved his hand back underneath the covers.   As I left the room, I looked back at him to say goodnight and he had a smile on his face.

We visited with a new elderly lady who when we approached and asked if she’d like to pet Sami, her response was, “I can’t, my hands are crippled”. She was reading a book and her hands, crippled as they were, formed perfectly around the book so it was not evident to me when I first came into the room.  She sounded so disappointed.  I immediately told her it was okay and I would help her so I did just that, taking her crippled hand and turning it over so that the back of her hand stroked Sami’s head.  She was quiet overjoyed and as I left the room, I looked back at her to say goodnight and she had a smile on her face, too!

After making our rounds around the complex, we finally ran into our favorite patient, known simply as “Bud”.  He was so happy to see her!  He just loved on her, kissing her head, and hugging on her.  He is such a pleasant man.  He walked us down the hallway and even outside to my vehicle.  I asked him several times if it was okay for him to be out and he said, yes, that he walked “everywhere” and even would walk down the street all the time for exercise.  I believed him.  He is a forgetful person but he doesn’t tell fibs!! 

We chatted at the vehicle for a bit, long enough for me to see a screw embedded in one of my back tires.  He told me to be sure to get that plugged and if anyone tried to give me grief or charge me for doing that, to come get him and he’d set them straight.  Bless his heart – he is absolutely so endearing and I only wish he had family and grandchildren around as he’d be the best granddaddy!  Anyway, as I was leaving the parking lot, I turned and waved goodnight and he, too, had a smile on his face!

It’s amazing what an hour of your time can do for people like Warren and Bud and our new favorite patient (I didn’t get her name).  It is such a rewarding experience, one which my Greyhounds and I have enjoyed now for nearly nine years!
  I am so thankful we can do this little bit of "therapy" to help so many!
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