YY Litter 37 Days Old Visit Westview

The YY Litter, 37 Days Old, Visits Westview

Today the pups had their first car ride and visit away from home as we took them to Westview Healthcare Center.  My friends Pam and Tessa met me at Westview to help with the puppy visit.  Activity director Yvette and assistant Angie met us as we pulled in. They must have thought we were taken aback by their appearance because Yvette quickly explained that it was Pajama Day.  We all had a good laugh.  We let the puppies walk around on the grass for a bit to potty before we led them towards the entrance and then carried them inside.

This litter lasted longer than any other litter ever has – an hour and 20 minutes!  Some played a little then crashed for a nap pretty quickly while Mr. Gold played and played.  By the time he collapsed, Miss Yellow and Mr. Red – especially Mr. Red! – were ready to play.  Mr. Blue woke up, too, and played a game with one man’s slippers. When they moved toward him, he would growl and bark; when they moved away, he’d pursue.

He had us oohing and awing at one point when a new resident came in.  At first she didn’t want to pet any puppies because she said she had allergies, but the she pointed to Mr., Blue and said she wanted to hold him.  When we placed him in her lap he stretched to get as close to her face as he could and cuddled on her chest, gazing intensely into her eyes for quite a while.  It was an interaction that brought tears to our eyes.        

Quite a few staff members came in to love on the puppies.  I have always felt our therapy dog visits were as important to staff members as to the residents, since nursing homes are a really hard place to work.  I know it’s hard for me to come and find out one of my favorite residents has died since my visit the previous week; it has to be even harder for people who care for them. 

I took a lot of photos.  The LED lighting in the activity room doesn’t give very good photos.  I have to correct the lighting on every photo, so it takes forever to edit them. I got these done as soon as possible to illustrate the diary, doing my best to get at least one photo of each resident interacting with a pup.  

This is National Nursing Home Week, so I was pleased it was also the week to start puppy visits.  This winter I had had the idea to see if we could get the kids at the schools where I do Reading Dog to write letters to the nursing home residents.  Joy, the activity director at Big Horn Rehab, loved the idea and told me about the National Nursing Home week.  When I asked the two schools (Tongue River Elementary & Holy Name Catholic School) where I do Reading Dog, they said yes.  It’s been fun the last 3 weeks picking up and delivering letters.  I didn’t have a chance yesterday to ask Yvette how the residents liked theirs (just a little busy wrangling and photographing puppies!), but Joy told me her residents were thrilled and are showing their letters to everyone.

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YY Litter Pedigree