Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 245- Observations on Humanity

***

Big Pupi on "Training my Human"

On Saturday my mom attended her first "without dog" observation, which is one of the human requirements that must be met before she is able to work with her fabulous and outstanding therapy dog (me, of course). She woke early on that day. I got an early breakfeast and then she was gone until afternoon. When she returned on the sunny Saturday, the first thing she did was snap on my leash and take me for a walk. I guess it was part determination to help me ace that exam, and part of her needed that sunshine and air. We had to be out and moving and seeing and breathing and why? Because we could.

**

Mom met two ladies, each with 100 lbs of dog at their side at the entrance to the hospital. They made their introductions and together they swooshed through the hospital lobby into a hallway lit yellow and bright. They peered into doorways and offered a visit from their patient pups. Some said Yes and others No, and together the group weaved and bobbed between the rooms.

A woman, sitting upright in a metal chair next to her bed said Yes to the dogs and in they went. In a shaky, weakened hand the woman balanced a bowl full of feastables and bit-by-bit she fed the dogs from a fork, like one would a child. The woman concentrated hard to coordinate the tasting, and she never dropped a single niblet. Never even came close. She did it for the dog and she was talking and happy all the while. A few more days and she'd be home.

In another room, a man laid in his bed with a nurse at his side. On his face was an expression of shock and amazement. Dogs in the hospital? Big dogs? He was in his 50s and never in his life had he touched a canine. And now he was feeding one neatly with a utensil as it perched its massive hindquarters on his bed. Mom never thought a smile could get so big or eyes so wide. When snack time was through the man clasped his hands together and declared this to the highlight of his stay. He was counting the seconds until he could tell his wife all about this. "Just wait until he finds his health again," mom told me. We're certain we'll see him proudly walking his first dog around town.

Into another hospital room... it was quiet. A woman lay low in her bed, thin and weak with dark eyes. Unmoving. Tubes of all sorts were attached to liquids held high and they darted into the sheets and disappeared. The room was warm and sweets sat on a table uneaten. And then there were the dogs. And with their entry came life to a frail body and light behind her face. She struggled to speak and begged the dogs be brought closer and closer. A chair was set next to the bed and the massive canines took turns sitting nicely and accepting treats and pets. It was happy.

Until the woman began to cry.

They were sobs from a body unable to find the energy for tears. There was a sadness so deep from a young person facing something she didn't seem quite ready for. Paper-thin hands were held tight and tears gently pat away. Soft words were whispered but how can a human really understand? One that is well and walking... how do they find the words to comfort another? It was then that the rottweiler hoisted his triple-digit body onto the bed. He was careful with his feet, balancing gingerly on the bed's edge and resting his mammoth head so gently on her fragile chest. Tears melted into kisses and arms wrapped snugly around the dog's neck. They laid like that for some time - the dog still and comforting.

Breathing in

and

breathing out.

The big pup had patience for days. He would lie there with her and melt into her embrace. Food was no longer interesting. Life was on pause. This was his place and he was her medicine. The woman's body relaxed and she drifted lightly to sleep.

In time the dog dismounted and parting words were said, along with promises that next week they'll be back and next week she will have a furry neck to hold and a fuzzy forehead to kiss. And next week she can drift to dream feeling life and warmth lying next to her, unafraid of her, giving her more than words ever could. And we all hoped and prayed for next week.

**

An hour visit to a hospital may not be much out of a schedule. An hour visit from a week's-worth of hours may not be a whole lot to ask. But somewhere in that hour humans are changed deeply. And suddenly an hour just doesn't seem like enough when it means a lifetime to someone bound to their bed. One hour and suddenly the world looks different and it wouldn't be possible without the therapy dog.

So take 60 minutes and spend it with your dog today. Walk, talk, play and pet. Take it all in, every last little bit of it. There will be a day when you can no longer do this.

Today is not the day.

31 comments:

FleasGang said...

Pupi, that was a truly moving tail(tale). You are going to be so good at helping people. I can't wait for you to start visiting just like the big dogs your mom met. Keep up the good work on your training!

luv
Shelly

Toffee said...

What a truly inspirational post...mom is still wiping away the tears from her face! I hope that it is okay that I link to this post - it is so beautiful and I think that everyone should read it.

Well done.
Toffee

Mack said...

wow - the moms is a little teary eyed over this!
What a truly inspirational story!
BP, you are gonna make a great therapy dog, I just know it.

PS: Your mohawk is really rocking too...

Biggie-Z said...

Oh Big Pupi, you and your mom almost made my Momma cry at work! That is such a great story. I know you will be great at it.

Cheers,
Biggie

Asta said...

BigPupi
I loved youw stowy, and I just know you will bwing so much comfowt and joy to so many..it's a gweat thin you'we doing..Mommi will hold me tight and love me and play wif me extwa long today..thank you
smoochie kisses
ASTA

BenTheRotti said...

Big Pupi,

you are going to make the most amazing therapy dog. You moved us, inspired us and made us contemplate so many things.. you have made Mum flood the keyboard but most importantly you have made her hug me like she has never hugged me before and hug the kids like she has never hugged them before, I for sure will be getting my 60 minutes.. possibly more than 60.. and not just today either.

Thank you for reminding us just what is important in life.. see you are already doing a great job as a Therapy Dog!!

Ben xxxxxxx

Coco said...

My mom reads your blog daily and this entry brought tears to her eyes because mommy said that she knows how good it feels to have a doggy by her side when she was really sick.

Pupi you are doing great things and you will touch many lives!

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a fabulous post, Big Pupi! We know you're going to make a wonderful therapy dog - we just know it!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Sunny,Scooter,Jamie said...

Awww geez....Mom told Toffee this better not make her cy. FAIL.
It reminds her when she was still able to do her job. Nursing. She is working on a book much like this. There can be happy, kinda happy, kinda sad and just SAD stories at th end of life/
We are proud of you for helping. To some you will meet, you will make all the difference in the world to them. If you meet some that hurt your feelings, do NOT let it bother you. Some poor souls in this world never liked dogs, and nevr will. Move on knowing they are few! Gold Star for you. And your peeps!
Special Hugs
Sunny&Scooter

Hero said...

Big Pupi,

Thank you for sharing such a moving and inspirational story. You are so lucky to have this opportunity to make a difference in so many peoples' lives. I know without a doubt that once you finish your training and start making your own rounds, that you will touch so many hearts and will make a difference in the world because of your special gifts as a therapy dog.

Petra said...

This is the best post I've read in awhile! I'm so happy that you are going to be used in such a wonderful way, Big Pupi. Bringing comfort and happiness and heaing to hurting people is a great accomplishment.

Lacy said...

w00f's pups, very touching post..made mamas eyes leak..some older patients, that iz the last thing they will remember when they go into the light..pawsome job, to all who do it...

b safe,
~rocky~

Buddy said...

one of my humans was crying as she read this. She hopes that you pass your test and help people get better. ROCK ON PUPI!!

Niamh said...

Big Pupi,

You and your mom will be such a great therapy dog team. Some dogs just seem to know what sick people need and there is nothing like a warm, soft dog for giving comfort.

We dogs are lucky to have our special people to love and care for us and they are lucky to have us! Thanks for a wonderful post. Hugs.

Your friend,
Niamh

Agatha and Archie said...

Oh boy PL2 is really leaky.....she is a nurse and sees us dogs all the time in the hospital....patients live for us to come..it makes all the differece in the world and we dogs always know just what the right thing is to do....SO this is a post that is near and dear to her heart,for she has seen some pretty amazng things..So you are right..hug your pups and your friends and families....and be thankfull for all you have Love
PL2

Lorenza said...

Thanks for sharing this post!
I am sure you are going to do a pawesome work!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Samantha said...

Big Pupi,
That was a lovely post. It is very sad that some people have to spend time in hospital and feeling so poorly. It is great that some special dogs like you can bring them love and a bit of comfort.

Niamh said...

Big Pupi,

We are out of town right now but when we get back on Thursday, I'll have Barbara type out the steps of the hula hoop spin so you can perfect it. I am still working on it too because it is a complicated trick.

Your friend,
Niamh

Joe Stains said...

WHat a wonderfully amazing post, thank you so much for putting everything in perspective!

chasingsquirrelswithrusty said...

What a lovely and thought provoking post. Thank you for what you do.

Barklove,
Rusty

Dewey Dewster said...

What an absolutely lovely and movng post....How special and comforting it must be for those patients to be able to feel the unconditional love of a dog for even a precious few moments...

Wonderful!!!
Dewey Dewster's Gram

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

Wow, that is truly an awesome and inspiring story. I hope you pass your test with flying colours and help more people feel like that real soon! You're doing a great job,you and your Mom! We'll be rooting for you....*wink*

Scottie

the 4 Bs said...

that is a beautiful story. we dogs are so lucky to be honored in this way. our love has a lot of healing power on humans.

woofs.

Eric said...

Toffee sent me over. That was a moving post, what wonderful doggies.And you are going to join them? Wow. How cool.

Mom is all leaky over your bloggie now,sorry.But say she is going to love me even more tomorrow.So thank to you my new pal.

Wiry wags, Eric

Fenway said...

Pupi—
You've shamed me into trying to be HAVE and be a better boy so that maybe I can bring comfort to humans.

Ms. Alpha has really been sick lately and hasn't been of much help getting my blog up to date. I think I will go practice being a therapy dog on her. I really miss my best pal.

Your pal,
A shamefully misbehaving Fenway

The Animal Doctor said...

Your post left us speechless, Big Pupi.

00XX00

The Animal Doctor and Secretary

Girl Girl Hamster said...

Woh Big Pupi, that's so pawsome. I'm sure you'll be one of those dogs who's make people feel so happy and good

~ Girl girl

Chef said...

Toffee sent me over to read your post and we are so moved. It's a very special dog that spends time visiting sick people. I'm sure it brings them that special joy that only dogs can give a human being. It's totally inspiring to see a dog doing something so worthy.

Bravo to you and your mom, Pupi. You will be an amazing therapy dog and you should be very proud of yourself - both of you!

xoxo
Chef

Tadpole said...

Absolutely beautiful. My girl had to stop reading a few times to compose herself (the joys of reading a computer with other people in the vacinity).

Beautiful.

Amber-Mae said...

Wow! This post kinda gave my Mom goosebumps.She got all teary too...What an inspirational post this is! Wonderful job Big Pupi & to your Mom too!

Butt wiggles,
Solid Gold Dancer

Clover said...

This is very beautiful. Thanks SO much for sharing with us! I am sorry it took me so long to get over here and read this. I really enjoyed it. It makes me want to be a therapy dog one day too.
Love Clover xo