To all my friends and family I wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope that the feelings of joy and love stay with you the entire year.
Watch our family Christmas video with the volume up. Lola & Otis’ acting debut.
If you have read my blog before you may have seen my post about the volunteering that I do with my dog Otis. He and I go weekly to visit a senior’s residence in the city. While we visit about a half dozen seniors there is one special lady who makes the experience pure joy. Despite being 101 years old she didn’t show any signs of dementia – we would talk about everything – what trouble my dogs got in to this week, the problems I had with the racoons in the yard (I was going to tell her about the two giant ‘coons that were just wandering in the yard this morning in broad daylight), she even remembered I had started something new at work and asked me how it was going.
Today I raced to the home – I try to get there just as she is finishing dinner so that I can take her to her room for our visit. Otis travels in her lap as I push the wheelchair – as I was about to check the dining room to see if she was still there one of the residents called me over to tell me she passed away this morning. She had been battling a flu for weeks but last week she seemed to be getting better and I wasn’t as worried about her as I was two weeks earlier.
Sadly, I was supposed to visit yesterday but got delayed getting home and figured I would go see her today. I never got to say good-bye to my dear friend. My friend who remembered my birthday when I forgot hers (she was June 19 and I am the 20th) despite being 100+. My friend who always lit up when she saw me and my dog and was happiest with Otis in her lap on her way to her room to play. My visits won’t ever be the same.
Today was haircut day at our house. All three of us got trims, some had more taken off than others. Poor Lola and Otis do not enjoy the event as much as I do and I am not sure I blame them. I knew I would drop them off as furry fuzzballs and pick up some skinny funny looking pups. You decide – before or after? (Please no nasty comments, they wouldn’t make fun of you if you had a bad cut!)
Go volunteer! Otis and I visit with a group of seniors at True Davidson Seniors home once a week and no matter how cruddy my day was it reminds me how many blessings I have in my life and just how wonderful it is to have a pet in your life.
I have seen frowns turn to smiles and some residences who were silent for our first visits now ask Otis how he is! One lady yesterday actually told us that seeing him was the best part of her day.
Otis now just doesn’t belong to me – every single person we visit call Otis their pup and they were so excited when we handed out photos of Otis at Christmas time. They now look forward to Wednesday nights after dinner because they know Otis will be there.
The residences are not the only ones who benefit – Otis gets rub downs and cookies but more importantly I get a reminder of how wonderful my life is and how precious health is and how quickly your youth can disappear making life a challenge.
If you would like to volunteer with your pet, check out Therapeutic Paws. Or find something that you are passionate about and get out there and help someone less fortunate than you; I guarantee that it will make you feel better and you will get more out of it than those you are servicing.
As I had mentioned in my intro post & my About section, I am a proud parent to 2 Chinese-Crested Poodles. “What?” You ask… They are poodles crossed with those really ugly hairless dogs (there is really no other way to describe them) and they are totally wonderful.
First I got Lola. Having a dog growing up, once I settled in to my own home I had to get a furry companion and knew shortly after that I needed another dog. Lola sat in the window waiting for me to come home every night. She fell asleep on the window ledge and that is where I would find her when I got home. She was just too sweet to spend her days on her own so we go Otis from her parents second litter.
Otis is the typical little brother giving her a hard time, stealing her cookies and also protecting her in the dog park. He is a lover though.
He and I volunteer once a week at a home for seniors where they absolutely adore him and I think he might be the favourite part of their week.
Now those of you who are not pet owners or animal lovers may think I am crazy as I go on about them like they are children but I have to tell you they are certainly part of my family.
It is great to have them now that I work often from home and there is nothing like coming home to someone who is happy to see you no matter how late you are or if you forgot to pick up kibble on the way home.
There will be lots more posts about Lola & Otis – that I can almost guarantee.