Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kisses Kisses Kisses...and more Kisses

Yesterday we visited with our  friends who are students in the adult ed program with United Disability Services. The second Tuesday of each month Chester and I pop our heads into their classroom and share some time together. Some days, when it is warm and sunny we walk to the park.  Other days we walk and roll :-) around the multipurpose room, or play fetch.  Some days we just hang out in the classroom.  Today ... we just hung out in the classroom.

There are about 15-20 men and women, each having different levels of ability, physically and mentally. Some students speak with words, some with their eyes.  Some students move about in motorized chairs, others use legs.  All have HUGE HEARTS and are kindhearted, warm, and friendly.  All are unselfish, eager to share Chester with one another.  Not a bit of selfishness, not an ounce.  ~~Always thinking of the joy Chester would bring to their friend, just as they have enjoyed the love he brings to them.  These students are amazing and they have climbed deep into our hearts.

Today as we visited, our friends were working on a group writing project, writing letters to soldiers.  
Though on task with their important writing project, Chester and I were greeted with smiles, cheers, and loud, happy welcomes! These students, no matter what they are doing,  have a way of making you feel like you are the most important thing in their world.

As they dictated letters to the teachers, we visited each student. Chester placed his paws on wheel chair tables and gave kisses to hands and cheeks. He climbed onto laps and received treats, giving smooches in return.  He put his paws up on the table and read soldier letters :-). He sat and enjoyed  head rubs and ear snuggles. Chester seems to know what to do with each friend, so I pretty much just let him do what he thinks best.  And while he does his pet therapy I get to visit, give hugs, squeeze hands, and just be with my friends.

Often, during our visits,  there is a person who especially pulls on my heartstrings. This time was no exception. This time it was Lou (name changed).  Lou sat patiently waiting for his turn with Chester. At last Chester sat by Lou's side,  then, to my surprise, climbed right up onto his lap, laying across Lou's legs pretending to be a lap-dog. Lou is tall and strong, and welcomed the big hound dog.

Lou tends to be shy, in the background,  and usually Chester sits next to Lou, receiving perfect head scratches & mushy ear rubs, listening to quiet conversation about Lou's love for dogs, especially his tiny dog at home. And, Lou likes to give Chester doggie treats from his gentle hands, which is an obvious DELIGHT to Chester-bud.  

Today was definitely a different encounter between Chester and his buddy, Lou.  After Chester climbed onto Lou's lap, he began to smother Lou with kisses all over his face.  And I mean all over. Lou has a beard, quite a fluffy long beard. Chester licked the beard, and Lou's face,  the beard, the face, the beard, the face. You get the picture.  Honestly, I thought........this was kinda, ummm, gross.  Did I mention that Chester was pretty excited about the beard? I was actually wondering if there might be extra lunch crumbs hidden inside the fluff. (I know YUCK...but just bein' honest :-) )     Lou was laughing, and happy, totally loving the attention and smooches. (I asked him, just to make triple sure).  Truth be told,  I had never seen Lou so animated and happy. And, all of Lou's friends were thrilled with the Chester attention he was receiving.   It was one happy classroom.  So, I let the Chester lovin' and huggin' continue without correcting my wise & sensitive puppy dog.  This was one of "those" moments......

Today was definitely Lou's day! I trust that Chester just knows who needs the lovin'...
 I drank in  this moment as I watched Chester smother Lou with unconditional love and sloppy wet kisses.  

And Lou smiled.  And laughed.   And felt loved.  And lovely.

And it made my heart full and thankful.  

Good boy, Chester. 

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