He never smiled. Or spoke, or looked up. But he seemed to know we were there. One day as I was passing with Lucy, he put his hand out to grab the little blanket. I asked him if he would like to hold Lucy – he looked up. So I put my dog Lucy on his lap and he shifted in his chair just a little but enough for her to settle in, enough for him to see her. And Lucy looked him right in the eyes. That day he smiled, just a crack of a smile, but a real smile. After many weeks visiting with this gentleman in a memory care facility, that critical connection was made between one man, one dog and one volunteer. That day he smiled. The next visit he opened his eyes and really looked at us – first at Lucy and then at me, the person at the other end of her leash. Then he spoke, very softly. I could hardly hear him or make out what he said. But he spoke. Each visit he talked more and soon we were having real conversations. I noticed a book in his room and we started chatting about the book. It brought back many long-gone memories. I think it was Lucy who prompted him to speak because he would look right at her and talk directly to her sweet face. And she always listened so attentively. When Lucy got tired he would shift again and make room for her to lie down on his lap. These moments each Monday are so very special to all three of us and each week this lovely gentleman becomes more engaged and engaging.