Our German shorthair, Nellie, has become a nursing home visitor.
Looking for meaningful retirement activity, Mike decided he wanted to engage in a “take your dog to a nursing home” program. (I think they call it “animal therapy.”) Such a program is not organized in our community, so he has worked on his own to arrange appointments for Nellie to visit local nursing homes. He enjoys doing it and Nellie is happy enough to wag her tail at a few people and allow them to pet her. So far, Mike thinks these visits have gone well and he has developed a “business card” for this activity.
This morning Mike and Nellie visited Orchards Rehabilitation Center and I tagged along so that we could also shop the Rosauer’s (regional grocery store) 13-hour cereal sale while we were out. I thought my presence during the visit was a bit of a distraction, but it was an opportunity to get a few pictures. The pictures are a little fuzzy – probably because I was trying to be surreptitious. Still – the love shines through.
Of course, not all residents are interested. Some are happy enough to see Nellie and pat her. And then there are the true dog lovers who embrace her wholeheartedly and gush a bit – and those are the ones for whom the effort is made. I say that – but sometimes you just don’t know the impact. Not everyone is effusive. Who knows? Perhaps some of the quiet ones were more deeply touched than they let on.
For now, the effort to reach out is on Mike’s part. It would be nice to receive a few “please come back” calls. Time will tell.
Mike's other retirement job is to drive a food pick-up route for the food bank twice a week. We had no idea that the food bank regularly picks up food from the grocery and convenience stores as well as restaurants. I think he enjoys that, too. KW