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Traumatized Flower…..

My son was getting married. It was his first marriage and he had no children. No child support or alimony to pay, which is a very good thing. It was an exciting time…we were looking forward to going.

I knew his wedding would be in Charlotte, NC and of course I wanted to bring our dogs. I even suggested that Flower, our Therapy Dog be in his wedding as the “ring holder”. She could also help calm the nerves I thought, yea that was a good idea. She provided therapy after all to patients and residents in convalescent centers, assisted living facilities, retirement homes, etc. Surely there could be a place for her at their wedding. She could do her “job” and work the wedding guests with her big brown eyes that speak volumes to us humans.

What else could she participate in? She couldn’t serve guests dinner, she couldn’t help clean up tables, she couldn’t dance or be the Deejay, and she couldn’t be the minister. I was running out of ideas. My son had already told me that Flower was not going to be in the wedding, dogs were not welcome. That didn’t matter to me – I still thought up suggestions on duties she could perform.

Last attempt – maybe she could be a bridesmaid? Has anyone ever had a dog as a bridesmaid? The thing about it was, she was our dog and didn’t belong to the bride – so that was a no brainer. That wouldn’t work. Flower did have a cute dog “dress” she could have worn though.

OK, I told my son, who continued to tell me that Flower couldn’t come to the wedding – I guess I’ll have to board her. Her and I are a team when we do our volunteer therapy work. She whines and cries when I leave her at home. We are inseparable.

The question is – who would miss who more? I think I know the answer to that one.

Boarding results – more on that later.
SUZ

Flower, snuggled up on the couch reading her Mom’s book, “Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes”…

Flower-Birds 020

Our Therapy Dog International, Flower, checking out her Mom’s book, “Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes.

Pet Therapy – honored to be a part of it….thank you RebelMouse !

https://www.rebelmouse.com/suzette/my-tdi-girl-flower-742194758.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb

Flower – my sweet girl, “reading” my book, “Alzheimer’s Through My Mother’s Eyes”.

OK, Mom, I’m done reading. You can have your glasses back, it’s time for my nap.

Flower all dressed up !

Flower all dressed up !

This is an XS t-shirt that I ordered for Christmas, after I ordered an XL. Come to find out, it fit Flower perfectly.
Now, grant you, she is not thrilled with being encumbered by a long sleeved shirt, but she stood still long enough for me to snap her picture !
She is saying “don’t hate me because I am beautiful” !!

A four legged & beautiful Newfie !!

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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.

Suzette

 

 

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.