Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winning them over!

Today's job was at another NEW location, in the heart of this beautiful city! I looked to my right and this is what I saw! Gotta LOVE it!
This elderly residential care facility did not offer any visitor parking so I had two choices. Find parking on the street or pay for parking. Thankfully, we left with plenty of extra time and I found parking on the street!! YEA!! So we had to CLIMB up the street, oh well! It was FREE!! hahaha. I took this photo below. Our car is parked waaaaaaaaaay down the hill next to the intersection.
We entered about 20 minutes early but they were ready and waiting for us! There were about 12 individuals sitting in a circle. I introduced Gabby, she performed her few tricks then I picked her up so they could see her face to face. Two men in particular waved me on, uninterested in Gabby. I am always surprised when this happens. I guess there are people who just don't like dogs! Weird eh? We made our rounds a few times, talking to each individually.

Then, it happened.....as I was talking to a lady and she was hugging Gabby pretty close, one of the men who waved Gabby on earlier, reached out and touched her! I pretended like I did not see this. He continued to touch her! I turned and he pet her a few more times, then was done. It was soooo cute! He was able to witness the love she was giving everyone and wanted some of that!! hahahha. Soon, after that, the second man, reached out to Gabby as we were making our rounds and wanted to touch her too! It was GREAT! We WON THEM OVER!!

My favorite part is when Gabby can relax, and with me holding her upside down and she nestles right up under the person's chin! One lady sang a little song to Gabby while this was happening about a mother holding her baby. It was adorable!

We stayed for about an hour, then they needed to get ready for lunch.

Our next visit isn't until February 11. We'll return to another elderly residential care facility that we've been to before. It'll be interesting to see if they remember Gabby.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On this wet and rainy day.....

...... Gabby had a job to do! She was more excited this week when I told her she had a job to do so I was pleased.

We arrived to a 430 patient facility for the elderly. It was HUGE! Thankfully, when
I confirmed our appointment in the morning, I asked about parking and they had VISITOR parking right in front!! YES!!!

Our contact person asked if it was OK to go up to the dementia floor. I said, "Sure!" So up the elevator we went! There was a room full of men and women in wheel chairs and regular chairs. I held Gabby to many of the individuals and she did her usual plop-the-head-on-the-chest position. They really LOVE that one! Many were asleep, a few waved Gabby away, being uninterested. The oldest one in the room ? 105!!! WOWZA! Here is when we discovered how to say small dog in Hebrew - Schmaska - or something like that. A few people would say that when looking at Gabby.

The next stop was to a woman in her private room. Her birthday is Saturday, she will be 85. She wanted Gabby up on her bed so up she went. Gabby laid down and almost fell asleep! The lady talked about her life, a Holocaust survivor, how she was a surgical nurse and how God has a German accent when He talks to her! Pretty amazing woman. She continue to pet Gabby as she talked and it was very relaxing. It was a nice little 10 minute visit.

We left her and continued on to another Activity Room. Elvis was playing loudly from the CD player, one lady was dancing and singing out loud, it was a PARTY! It was a riot! This was a very lively room. The man in charge of this room really makes his job FUN!! The same woman started singing 'God Bless America' - and did a GREAT job of it!! As we made our way around the room, Gabby continued to snuggle up to many, letting them feel her soft ears and patting her belly.

Another Director entered and asked the man in charge of the room how everyone was doing. He replied telling her how the individuals were responding and was especially excited that 'Rosie' "opened BOTH of her eyes to see the dog!" They seemed very pleased with the 'results' we were achieving! It seemed as if many of them had problems with their vision. It would take them awhile to focus on Gabby, once they did, they BURST into shouts of seeing her!! One lady was loving Gabby and then she took MY face in her hands, tilted my head and kissed me on the cheek. I could not understand a word she was saying but did it again!! It was a very sweet and kind gesture.

Our visit today was a little over an hour and quite the workout, holding Gabby a lot, in squatting positions, bending and such. They keep most of the facilities at a comfortable, warm temperature so I have to remember to wear lighter clothing!

We will return to this particular facility in a few weeks and will look forward to it.

Here is Gabby, taken today, just before walking out the door.
She is READY!

Here she is AFTER! Tired her out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Visit in 2010

When I told Gabby that she had her job today, she did not act as happy as she had in the past. Maybe she was still mad at me for putting that flea/heartworm medicine on her back the day before? Maybe she's 'forgotten' since it has been a few weeks...Don't know. On the way over in the car, she looked at me as if to say, "I am not feeling it today!" But onward we continued.
When we entered, Gabby was VERY EXCITED and starting wagging her tail and twirling with delight!! We went to a beautiful home that had many residents. It was a Japanese residential care building. It was BEAUTIFUL! Ok, I am just going to say it. I am sorry if I sound 'racist' but it is not made to sound like it.... One thing I have noticed by visiting so many different places.... The Asians are soooo clean and tidy! Their homes do not have an 'old person' smell and is very comfortable. Well, the other thing I've noticed is that the Asian community are not BIG fans of dogs. Only 5 people showed up in the lobby! OK, so there was an 'arm exercise class' being held at the same time..... maybe that is where they all were? Hmmm....No, I think the majority are just not big dog lovers. The ones that did show up were very sweet and LOVED Gabby. One man sat in a chair and wanted Gabby in his lap. He was of pretty small frame, and not much of a lap, but Gabby wiggled herself up and there she sat between him and the arm of the chair for a few minutes. He enjoyed it and did not want us to go. He actually asked, "Why do you have to leave now? What does Gabby have to do?" Aw, super sweet.
So, in the end, I think Gabby just 'forgot' about her job. Her next job is in 2 weeks, we'll see if she remembers....