Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Out of the mouths of the Elderly

Our appointment was for 1:30 on Monday, November 16.  Seemed like a good time for me....I could get my run with hubby in the morning, have some lunch, then dip out for a bit.  Not sure if it was the best time for Gabby though.  I think it cut into her afternoon napping....she seemed a little more tired while on the job.

We arrived, signed in and met the Activity Coordinator in the large Activity room.  There were probably 20 people in wheelchairs waiting for Gabby to arrive! Since they cannot bend over, I had to pick Gabby up (all 20 lbs. of her!!!) and hold her close to each person.  Most wanted to pet her, of course there were the few that shook their heads, "NO" - I will never understand that one!! 

I think one of the things I love the most about taking Gabby as a Therapy Dog is to hear the wisdom spoken from our elderly population!

One lady, out of the blue, told me she was mad at God.  She proceeded to tell me, she was "Made at God for making man with a penis! That is why I stayed single all of those years, I hate that penis!"  OH MY!!! I wanted to cover Gabby's ears and shout, "Not in front of the baby!!!" hahahaha.  It was pretty funny and it took all I had to say, "Oooohhh, OK." 

One lady spoke Croatian to Gabby as she was petting her, I think Gabby understood better than I did! 

We stayed for about 45 minutes, making our way through the large room.  Everyone thought Gabby was so beautiful.  Another lady made the comment to Gabby, "Why Gabby, you have such a SMART haircut! I like it!!"  

Since we were close to Vasi's Preschool, I called her,  and she was able to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee at the cafe on the corner.  Gabby sat at my feet, looking out the window at the passersby.  One and a half hours later, Gabby pawed at my leg, she was done, she wanted to go home.

We'll see how this time frame works for the afternoon.  I'll pay close attention next time we are in the afternoon and see if she is too tired again.  Maybe I'll have to change it to mornings only.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


So today Gabby had her 2nd job. We were assigned to a retirement home.  The complex was about 10 stories high and our job was to visit the 2nd floor.

First I had to find parking. My biggest pet peeve is having to pay for parking - I would rather walk a mile than pay for parking.  The complex was off of Geary - a pretty major thoroughfare in the city. Thankfully, I found FREE parking about 2 blocks off of Geary so I was happy! Having to locate the different destinations have made me learn more about the city so that has been a blessing. Slightly aggravating at times, but a big learning experience for me and that is good!

We started in the 'Activity Room' where about 6 women were sitting in wheelchairs.  They all loved Gabby, petting her, asking questions about her breed and such.  We entertained them with the 'sit', 'lay down' and 'tell me a story' commands and they loved it.  The women were all very lucid, laughing and enjoying the time together. It was great fun!

After spending 15 minutes here, we traveled room to room, visiting about 20 individuals.  It was a very clean environment, very impressive.  Most rooms were decorated with family photos, and personal belongings so I am to assume it to be a retirement long term care facility.

I saw a few men walking around but mainly women. Not sure if this was a ladies only floor or if women really do out live men THAT much? I don't know.

There were a few women that I hope to remember. One being a beeeeeeaaaauuuuuutiful lady. She was very thin, was lying in bed but sat right up when we approached.  She was wearing a beautiful white long sleeved nightgown and had a really nice white sweater over her shoulders. Her hair was pure white and combed nicely too.  She asked if Gabby could be placed on her bed next to her so I did.  Gabby laid down and loved the special treatment!! She kept telling Gabby she was a good dog. She asked a lot of questions about Gabby and we talked for about 10 minutes. She was so happy and delightful!! 

We continued making our rounds.  Most of the time, I would hold Gabby in a position with her back against me, her four legs out in front of her so people could hold her paws and pet her belly - one of her favorite positions.  She also enjoys it when she is on her back in my arms and her head dangles upside down. Everyone always laughs at this and cannot believe she likes to be held in such a manner. 

We worked from 1:30 - 3:00!! I could tell Gabby was starting to get tired.  In the last room, a lady was in a chair with her feet on the floor. Gabby laid down right over her feet and the lady could reach down and pat her.  She said, "I would want a dog if I could have one just like this." It was so adorable. 

We ARE blessed to have such a good little dog. The most common word used among the women today were, "She looks so happy!" And, ya know? She WAS!!!  I was very proud of her today - as usual....always a good feeling to watch people smile and enjoy her as much as we do.