- A PAWSOME FAREWELL: K-9 VILO RETIRES WITH HONORS AND HEADS HOME TO NEW ADVENTURES
- First anti-aging pill for dogs enters clinical trials
- Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him
- TWO FEET FLYING: PUTOL THE PUPPY DEFIES LIMITS WITH LOVE AND DETERMINATION
- Woman Who Typically Swam at Dog Beach at Night Goes Missing
In the introduction to “Your Story” …
Hi! Remember me?
Last year, the most amazing thing happened to me.
I lived almost all of my life in a department store, and every Christmas, I would be brought out of storage and put in a window as part of a display.
Walking by, people of all ages would smile and point, looking at me in my red and green scarf.
I always wanted to look my best for them.
But that all changed when I wasn’t needed anymore. I was put back into the dark storage room.
Looking out a window, I saw a twinkling light in the sky, and I wished I didn’t have to be locked away in that room.
I wished someone would want me.
Then, I wagged my tail.
From there, a whole new adventure began.
That’s how I found my forever home with David and his mother, Christy.
It has been the best year.
I settled in quickly with David and his mom.
They tell me I’m a good boy and I’ve made their family complete.
They also say I’ve brought joy into their lives.
Christy tells me I’ve helped David so much. He had a hard time with his father’s death, but having me around has brought her son’s smile back.
That makes me happy.
Every day with David has been so much fun.
We played outside in the snow in the winter; took long walks in the spring and summer; went to the beach and I got to swim in the ocean; and this fall, I had a great time jumping in the leaves.
I patiently wait every day for David to come home from school, and I run to greet him when he gets off the bus.
After he does his homework, we get to play. It’s my favorite part of the day.
I don’t know how it could get any better than this.
Today, I heard Christy on the phone telling someone that with the holiday season approaching, she thinks I might be able to spread Christmas cheer to those in need.
“I’ve seen what he’s done for David and me, so maybe he could do the same for others,” she said. “Yes, he is such a lovely and gentle dog.
“I don’t know what we can do just yet, but I’m going to talk to David and see what he thinks.”
When Christy gets off of the phone, she turned to me and with a smile said, “Buddy, how would you like to …”
By Sue Buck
“… become a therapy dog?”
I was confused because I didn’t know what this meant.
What do therapy dogs do? Does this mean I have to leave my wonderful family?
Just then, David got home from school.
Christy told her son that she had just been talking with someone from the local hospital. It seems that they had heard about Buddy over the past year and the positive effect he had on his new family.
The hospital’s pediatric section always seems to be full these days, and the holidays are an especially rough time for the kids to be away from home.
The hospital administrator explained to Christy that recent studies were being done on the positive physical and mental health effects and quicker recovery times for kids when a therapy animal pays a visit.
Was Buddy up for the challenge?
David told his mom he thought this sounded like a marvelous idea to have Buddy cheer up the kids, but he was concerned that he would have to give up Buddy.
Christy assured her son that Buddy would stay with them.
Christy began to do some research about the requirements of therapy dogs.
Buddy would need to go through some training and testing to make sure he had the proper good manners, demeanor and handling skills before becoming a certified therapy dog.
“That should be a snap for Buddy,” Christy thought.
Christy and David did not hesitate, and they both said in unison, “Let’s do it!”
I met many new and wonderful people at my training sessions.
I passed my schooling with flying colors, of course.
I received my certificate and got a special jacket with a name on it, which I wore with pride.
I was now ready for my first outing to the hospital in a few days to visit and cheer up the kids.
The next day, my world took an unforeseen turn. I had an unfortunate accident.
While I was out playing in the yard with David, I slipped while I was running and injured my leg.
“Oww,” I yelped, and I couldn’t stand up.
As I was whimpering a lot because my leg hurt awfully bad, David tried to console me as he picked me up and carried me back into the house.
Christy looked at my leg and carefully felt it.
“It doesn’t feel like any bone is broken, but let’s get him to the veterinarian to get it checked,” she told David.
The doctor examined my leg and brought me back into the room where Christy and David were waiting.
The vet said, “I have pretty good news for you; the injury is not too serious, just a sprain.”
The doctor had wrapped a bandage around my leg and told my family that I would just need to take it easy for a few weeks.
I was so thankful to finally get back home and lay in my comfy doggie bed and take a nap.
I got lots of extra attention over the next few days, but started wondering what my setback might mean for my upcoming hospital debut as a therapy dog.
Christy checked with the vet and I was cleared to keep my scheduled visit.
The day arrived. I hobbled into the hospital with my bandaged leg.
The kids loved me, and it was amazing to see the smiles on their faces and have them gush over me.
I just loved the attention and affection from everyone.
A little girl who had her leg in a cast pointed at my bandaged leg, grinned, and said …