I haven’t participated in the assistance dog blog carnival in…ohmygod…2 years? ish? But L-Squared caught my attention, just in the nick of time. When I looked at the theme, I thought something I was thinking of writing anyway would fit happily into that theme, so here goes. Wow, I made it into the carnival! Who thought that would be possible?
The theme is opportunity, and just a couple of weeks ago, I had a rare opportunity that I don’t think many of us get to have. I got to thank a woman for all her support of guide dogs, and let her pet my dog, in her final days.
Remember how I said my stepgrandpa isn’t doing well? Well, he has out-lived all the doctor’s expectations, to the point that the doctor was investigating sending him to a nursing home. Unfortunately, the doctor has turned around on that score…he started declining again. I don’t expect he has much time left at all…but we’ve been wrong before, so what the heck do I know?
At any rate, when I found out that he didn’t have long left, I decided I was coming home for the weekend so I could see him. It was a whirlwind weekend, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I got to see him, he remembered me, and we had a not bad conversation. I wasn’t used to his voice being so low and his trouble hearing…but it still was a visit, and good memories. Mom said that when you put recent visits on a scale, that was a good one.
Anyway, at one point I headed out in the hall when a man asked me if I could come into his mother’s room for a second. She was another patient at the hospice. He explained that she had been a strong supporter of guide dogs, and had donated to a school, I’m not sure which one, and it would mean a lot if she could see one at work. Well…that seems like a simple request. So I walked in.
The woman couldn’t speak, but she seemed overjoyed to see a guide dog. I didn’t know what to say, just said thank you for being so supportive of guide dogs, and that Tansy’s awesome…then I let Tansy snuggle up close to her so she could pet her.
I was nervous doing this, since Tansy can be a wild child. But she was ever so gentle. I think she kissed the woman and let her pet her. Then we left, and the man thanked me. He said that was a gift.
I have heard that woman has since passed away. It’s not often that I would get to do something so simple that seemed to mean so much. It’s rare that I get to thank a puppy raiser I happen to meet in my travels, let alone in these circumstances. I guess even these tough times can provide special opportunities.
I also got the opportunity to see the softer side of Tansy. I joked when I got her that she would never make a therapy dog in her old age because she’s so rambunctious. Perhaps I was wrong?