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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A calling?

Dear Heidi and Shelby,

I have always had high expectations for you. Ive always wanted you to be well rounded, and able to show off your many talents-given to you by genetics (your breed) and how you were raised. I wanted to do it all-obedience, agility, rally and therapy dog work. But due to a lack of funds and talent (on my part) we haven't been able to do much. We spent a great year and a half in agility a few years ago, and you guys were really able to show your stuff; we never had an outing where we didn't place.

But due to Heidi's shoulder injury and numerous health problems on my part, we had to retire from AKC agility early. As for now, if we go back, we'll be involved with NADAC-allowing you to jump nice and low. But in the mean time (in the time it takes for me to get my health back and hopefully some money for competitions) Ive been thinking a lot about doing therapy dog work. You both are certified through TDI and passed your test with flying colors. You both seem to have a calling for it. Heidi, I knew you would be a natural-wanting to say hello to everyone, no matter what extra equipment (wheelchairs, canes etc.) people had, or how unique their situation was. They were a person, and you wanted to get your belly rubbed! Shelby, you came as a bit of a surprise. Being so much more active and energetic than your sister, you always seemed to have another job to do, other than saying hello to strangers (i.e. chasing seagulls at the beach). But in the nursing home setting where we took the test you really surprised me. Being very available to all who wanted to say hello and pet you. You stood quietly by someones side as they stroked you and asked me questions about you both.

I hemmed and hawed for a while now, not knowing if this was something that I could turn to as MY calling. I feel like I have wasted time by not getting you girls involved with this sooner, but my own fears and insecurities have gotten in the way. We had an experience recently though that made me rethink all of this and maybe want to give it a try. I took you guys to see my grandfather in his nursing home just last week. They were so friendly, just allowing you to come in with no questions asked. We rode the elevator on up, and entered his room. He was very excited to see you and pet you a little before I put you on his bed. There you laid, totally at ease and rested-getting attention when my grandfather or his wife would come over to reach you from their wheelchairs.

When we were going to leave, we were stopped several times not only by patients, but staff members as well. You both seemed to put a smile on every ones face whom you met. We were even asked to make a special visit to one young man who was a paraplegic...I lifted you up so he could see and pet you easier.

Ive thought alot about this visit, and I realized that it might just do me some good to get out. I know I cant work right now, but maybe volunteering is the way to go-to get out there and not spend all day at home cooped up in the house. I think a different venue might be more appropriate for us, and Ive been contemplating the VA hospital and Mass General where I get all of my treatments done. I'm going to make some calls tomorrow and see what I can find out.

I think this will be a new and exciting venture for us (if we can ever get this flea problem under control!!) and I look forward to working with you girls and spreading the joy that you give to me every moment of every day, to others.

So good night my babies, and sleep well. A vet appointment lies in store for you tomorrow to see if we can get these fleas under control and see if we can get Shelby's skin fixed. These little buggers are really making her suffer-covered and bites and red raw, she is constantly scratching. We'll have a better idea whats going on tomorrow.

Good night for now, and have sweet dreams. We'll have some more to think about tomorrow. I love you so much, xoxo

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