Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday's Therapy Visit
For several weeks we have not been able to go to our regularly scheduled visits at Central State Psychiatric Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia due to my surgery and my Mom's grandmother's death. There is a great need in psychiatric facilities and many trained therapy dogs do not go, because their parents are not comfortable in the facility. Thankfully, my parents have a tender heart and allow my furry brothers and I to visit psychiatric patients.
On Tuesday, I sent my brother Nanuq in my absence. I really wanted to go, but the doggie doctor has not released me yet. Nanuq came back with lots to share with me. Nanuq said, "Ms. P told Mom one of the patients had been asking the nurse practitioner daily why we had not been there? The nurse practitioner told Ms. P she needed to know what to tell the patient." Ms. P explained to the nurse practitioner about my surgery and told her we would come back as soon as the doctor would allow me.
Asking about us may seem insignificant, but it is not. This patient has been very withdrawn in the past and quickly made friends with my Mom and Dad on one of the first few visits. She is a very intelligent lady who loves to read and has an intense passion for music. She rarely pets me, but she always come by to see us when we are there. Sometimes she speaks a few words and other times my parents will have a lengthy conversation with her.
Tuesday, while Nanuq was there with my parents the patient who asked about us came by to see them. She talked for a little while and then went to the library to read. Nanuq said, "her face was full of bright smiles."
Dog therapy can be hard to explain. We meet people in a way other humans can not. We love and accept each patient for who they are and we do not expect anything in return. There are times when all the patient needs is for us to be visible and other times they need to cuddle.
I am thankful Nanuq eagerly accepted the job of going to Central State alone. We enjoy going to Dog Therapy together. Nanuq and I have very different personalities and GOD chooses to use us in different ways.
Thank you, Nanuq!
Woofs and wags,