Lucy is an exquisite therapy dog. She loves to be held and cuddled and always gives the most perfect direct eye contact. She knows exactly who needs her the most at any given time and her tail never stops wagging.
But what is most remarkable about Lucy is what is at the other end of her leash – her wonderful human volunteer. Lucy’s “mom” has the perfect demeanor with the special clients they visit weekly at a dementia care/hospice. Today for instance to celebrate the holidays Lucy’s mom brought homemade cupcakes (sugar free of course) and a handwritten holiday card for every resident. She included a little photo of Lucy and wrote a personal note for everyone. Some of the residents were confused, holding their card and not exactly knowing what to do with it.
But they smiled. They knew they were being recognized in a special way. They knew it was from their beloved Lucy because her picture was on the card. They knew they were engaged with individuals who truly cared about their well being – both two and four legged. They knew they were holding something tangible that they could look at over and over.
Delta Society Pet Partners puts as much, if not more, importance on the human end of the leash as the animal. The volunteers are not just there to showcase their animals but to engage with the clients, guide their animals and be part of a care team.
Lucy and her mom are the perfect example of this teamwork. And this special day will be long remembered by those who have little or no memory left.