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Convalescent Center….emotional visit

This morning, my Therapy Dog and I visited the same convalescent center that my mother was in.  We have been there many times in the past 2 years, but today was special….somehow.  Maybe because my mother’s birthday is coming up and this is where she was when she celebrated her last birthday.

This particular convalescent center always brings back memories, not only of Mom being in the same facility but this convalescent center holds a special place in my heart.  This was our very first Pet Therapy visit about 2 years ago…..  I knew they welcomed Pet Therapy as I used to see the canines visit when my Mom was a resident.  At the time, we had a 130 pound German Shepherd, that went to visit his “Nan”.  She loved it !  She would brag to the other residents that my GSD was her dog !!  He would gently nudge her hand for a rub, he would gobble the crumbs in her lap that she left behind, he would sit and patiently allow her to pet him and his big head.  The administrator would allow me to bring my GSD, he was so beautifully behaved even though he was not a certified Pet Therapy dog.

Now, I do visit the residents in this same convalescent center even though Mom has been gone for almost 10 years.  I choose it as the very first facility we put on our list, purposely as I knew we would be welcome by staff and residents.  And, indeed we are….everyone is so kind.

On a previous visit, I had given the administrator a copy of my book, in soft cover edition – for her to read.  I valued her opinion on my writing and I welcomed her review.  She absolutely loved my book, said it was great and I said what needed to be stated for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients….She let me know as well, that she has already shared it with other’s.  Coming from her, that really means a lot to me as I know she would also have been honest if she had not cared for it.

Her assistant also came to me, to let me know that she had purchased a copy of my book, she had read it and will give me a raving review on Amazon !  I thanked both of them.

It was time to go, lunch was to be served soon.  What a wonderful visit.  I left feeling fulfilled, loved and overwhelmed with emotion.

I make sure I go by the room Mom was in each and every time I visit.  Brings back happy and sad memories.  Brings back the painful memories of the morning of her death….but she is suffering no more.

Brings back memories of my GSD also, who had to be put down in 2011 at the age of 13 years old.  He served Mom proudly.

I am tearful tonight – but I am a survivor and I am at peace.




So it was a good day.  It was a good visit.  We brightened the day of many patient’s trapped in wheelchairs, patients that are bedbound, patients that were not feeling well, and many of the residents that welcomed us in their rooms !!  My “girl” brought joy and compassion – that is what is it all about.