Howdy. Bear here!
It’s been a long time since Mom asked me to write, and I was glad to help her out. We worked as Pet Partners on Monday for the first time since we got back down south. We were supposed to only work two hours, but there were just so many people in the hospital, and it was like EVERY ONE of them wanted a visit from all the Pet Partner teams! Well, I mean, can you blame them?
Anyway, we worked almost three hours, and let me just tell ya’ll . . . . Mom and I both were dog-gone tired when we got back home – and that’s why yours truly is getting to write tonight (Mom is taking a little nap).
You know me, I can’t sleep in the car (although I have totally overcome my fear of getting in the car – Mom is very happy about that!). I have to ride shotgun for Mom though to make sure she stays awake!
Now, before you start writing Mom and telling her how dangerous it is for me to be in the front seat, let me just share with you that she knows that. But . . . choosing between a salivating, hassling, totally stressed out dog pacing back and forth in the back seat whining for the entire 45-minute trip to Albany and back, and me being my usual happy sweet self, sitting calmly next to Mom (my favorite place to be) . . . well, Mom has chosen the latter. She is super careful when I’m riding with her (and probably even that helps her stay awake). Anyway, it works for us right now.
When we got to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, we were so happy to see a bunch of teams waiting to work! I don’t think I’ve told you that one of my bestest friends at Pet Partners, Happy Jack, passed away while we were in Michigan. His owner, Ms. Marty, is still so, so sad, but she now has Poppy and Zeus – two more yellow labs – and Poppy was with her yesterday. I also got to meet Maxine and Truman!
There were five teams working yesterday, and as usual we started the day in the Oncology waiting room where we visited with maybe 15 people in the 30 minutes we were there. Mom was happy to see that I got right back into my “velcro dog” role with everyone I met, spending the afternoon velcroing my head to laps, legs and beds. We wish we could take photos in the hospital, but that’s not allowed.
From Oncology, we went to one of the medical floors and visited up and down a whole wing. There were so many people in the hospital, and we tried our best to spread the love everywhere. Sometimes I think we help bring smiles to families visiting patients as much as to the patients! It’s really hard when we have to leave a room and move on.
A few of us spent part of the afternoon visiting in the Behavioral Health wing where we meet with patients in a big room. They sit around this huge table (sometimes they’ve been having snacks in there just before we arrive, and it is really hard not to dive under the table to grab something that was dropped), and we move from patient to patient.
In all we probably visited close to 60 people. I’m not including in that number all the folks we only connected with for a few seconds as we passed through other waiting rooms and elevators (which I also used to not like, but now they are fun) and the lobby, where our entourage makes quite a “happening” parading through as a group!
Outside we rested a little while, had treats (because we are wonderful), and mom took a few photos.
If you’d like to see photos of all our Pet Partners teams, you can click here: http://www.pawspatrol.com/teams.htm. We don’t have an updated photo of Ms. Marty and Poppy yet, and as you can see on this site, Happy Jack was partnered with several handlers. Happy Jack was an amazing friend, and we all miss his smiling face and joy for life. He’s playing at the Rainbow Bridge with Ms. Marty’s other special boy, Hero, who she lost several years ago.
You will also notice the “In Memory Of” caption over the photograph of Pat Howard and and her faithful Charlie . Ms. Pat passed away a couple of years ago, and Charlie went to live with Ms. Marty. This fall Charlie and Pat were reunited and crossed the Rainbow Bridge . . . together. Losing Happy Jack and Charlie so close together was a huge shock to our group, but the memories of Pat, Happy Jack, Hero and Charlie go with us on every visit, and people ask about them wherever we go.
Our ride home was uneventful . . .
So, we made it safely home, and Mom is waking up just in time to publish this story I’ve written! She says to tell ya’ll she and Dad are heading to Florida for Christmas with Julie, Matt, Jordan and Matthew this weekend . . . What? You haven’t told me that, Mom. Are Maddie and I going? What? We’re going to the kennel again! Just wait till I tell Maddie THIS news! Santa Clause had better be extra nice to us this Christmas!