When people ask what our therapy pets actually DO, it can be hard sometimes to put it into words. Our Southern MD coordinator recently got this lovely note from our volunteer, Pat, and it just sums up what it’s all about, so we wanted to share it with you.
Thank you for organizing the Halloween celebration at the Veterans Home today. Ruby and I had never been to anything like that before. What fun! Costume parade, awards with prizes, treats and visiting with the people all in just one hour. Well done.
There was a lady in a wheel chair at the front table to your left when facing the crowd seemed to be looking up. Almost as if she could not pay attention to all that was going on. She made little indication that she was part of the festivities.
I steered Ruby over to her and quietly without a word Ruby stood close to her. Then without my cue, Ruby moved right up next to the lady’s wheel chair and just stood.
Ever so slowly the lady moved her hand down and touched Ruby’s head. Ruby slightly lifted her head into the lady’s hand.
The lady’s touch was very gentle but purposefully touching Ruby. She did not look down but kept her hand on Ruby. Someone walked by and Ruby made a circle finishing with her hind end next to the reach of the lady. Slowly her hand came down on Ruby’s back. Ruby just stood still as the lady’s finger tips moved on her hind end. It is a small thing to pet a dog. This little incident of a hand reaching out and a dog standing still for it, made it all worth it. All the prep and planning, all the time spent getting there fell away as my heart swelled.
Every one of us Pets On Wheels visiting teams have small moments like this. I thought I would share it with you and say thank you. – Pat
Share this entry
Pets on Wheels brings the joy of friendly pet therapy to people all over the state of Maryland. Regularly visiting nursing homes and hospitals to assisted living facilities, homeless and domestic violence shelters, veterans’ hospitals, libraries, schools, colleges, corporate campuses and more, Pets on Wheels volunteers improve lives and help lick loneliness one visit at a time.