Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Monday, June 10, 2013

tails from a SUPER SWEET DOG that I am very proud of

The vet was here this afternoon. Our vet is like the BBC production of James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small". She comes to us! And does her thing in our kitchen. As you can imagine, when a pet passes, it is far easier if they are home. Ditto the exam. Vet offices smell of fear, probably, to your sweet dog or cat, who can smell the thousands of others who have come to get shots and other such unpleasant  things, whereas in this case the vet comes over to play with you and while you are getting jabbed in your kitchen papa is feeding you cookies....

ANYWAY, it was just over a year ago the vet was jabbing Penny and Penny was acting like it was the BEST THING since sliced ham and the Dr said "Penny is so friendly!  She should become a therapy dog at Longview Senior Center and a Cornell Companion therapy dog...".

And we did.

We started visiting Longview right away, and there are several pictures below from our weekly visit there this morning.
Cornell Companions is a program to train therapy dogs by the Cornell Vet school...and Penny, as many of you know, passed that program with flying colors, as did I!  Then I went through weeks of ADDITIONAL training to visit a facility where people are very ill.
I am prohibited by federal law from describing what place that is, who is there and what is going on, for the sake of patient privacy.  Anyway, the training was like going back to college and learning all about one of the most interesting things you can imagine, a part of life that nobody ever thinks about.

Longview is all about sharing the good times, and everybody signs a release when they move there, allowing photos and publicity.  The place I visit afterwards does not allow ANYTHING, but I think I can describe some conversations I have had there.

The first week Penny and I visited the new place after my training finished, the nurses sent us into a person's room.  I knew they were very ill and expected, what, a depressed person?  Morose?  I don't know, but OH MY GOODNESS what a delightful and lively person!  Penny just crawled all over them and they laughed together and had a great party!  The second person we saw was not feeling well and told us to go away.
I saw the first person the next week.  The second was no longer there, the room empty.
Each week for 5 weeks I have visited the first person and been told of their cats in the pictures at the bedside, had laughs, Penny has played with them, just the most lively person you have ever seen.
Last week we had a message that they would like a visit, and the person was at first out of it.  The nurse was talking to them, and Penny was at the bedside, and there was sudden awareness and again, the party was on!  I learned all about the sweet cats in their pictures...Penny was stroked and loved by this lively, wonderful person.
Today that person was not asleep, but was staring at us, not really seeing.  Like they are not there.
We met a new person today.  This person did not want us to visit, they did not feel well, so we moved on to another room.  THIS new person, again, is terribly ill BUT OH MY GOODNESS so delightful and lively!  I was told
"God is all around us and I have had the best life.  I have never hated anybody, everybody is just so interesting!  Why do people bother with hating others?  Next week I will have to get video of you 2, I can't wait to show you guys to my family! And now I have 2 new friends...."


Unknown said...

Gary, that is just special. I love what that physical contact and animal love does for them.

Michèle Hastings said...

These posts always make me smile :-)

knittergran said...

You are a nice man, Mr. Gary, and Penny is great! I hope if I end up in a facility, some nice person will bring in pets to visit.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful work you are doing Gary and Penny!
Yes, God is all around us.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that just makes me grin inside and out. We're bringing our galumph of a mutt to visit an elderly friend later this week--to the same effect. Even for a few moments, it sure brings a lot of joy.
And a house-calling vet? That's lucky stuff!

smartcat said...

Sweet stories. As Michele said, these post always bring a smile. And I love the way Penny smiles as much as the residents she visits.

Cheryl said...

Gary and Penny, you are both wonderful beams of sunshine! I read this article with a big smile on my face as well as tears in my eyes, tears of joy that you two bring such happiness and joy into the lives of those who might not have any...what an awesome job (is it really a job??) you two do, I imagine the smiles and happiness the ones you've visited feel long after you've left.

JB said...

I hope someone brings a Penny to visit me in the old folks home when the time comes.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

My dad's assisted living facility has a house dog, and she brightens his day like nothing else could ever accomplish. We got to meet the dog in April and now I understand why he loves her so much -- and I understand even more why your visits to Longview are so helpful.

I can only imagine how awesome it is that Penny goes to the hospice house. Not everyone wants a visit, but OH! How very much she must brighten those last days for the folks who welcome you into their rooms.

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.