Thursday, April 12, 2012

High Five, Low Five

I mentioned a few posts ago, that when we visit UDS Adult Education, I often am touched especially by one person, or a moment. And it happened again this week.  On Tuesday it was Lynnie. Lynnie is a petite young woman with pixie cut brown hair. She sits in a wheel chair with a padded tray,  communicates through her eyes and has a bright smile. I've heard the term "dancing eyes" before, but with Lynnie, I SEE dancing eyes.  Her eyes do dance when she is happy and excited.

Her eyes sparkled when I asked her if she would like Chester to  put his big ole paws on her cushiony tray. Chester gently placed his paws up on top, and then kissed her petite frail fingers.  Lynnie's eyes boogied :-).

That wasn't even the best part though. When it was time to leave, Chester was giving high-fives to a few friends gathered around Lynnie's chair. The students were overjoyed connecting with Chester's paw in high-five fashion.

I asked Chester to give Lynnie a  high five, sort of like a wave, knowing she could not reach her frail tiny  hand to Chester's paw. But, rather than go HIGH, Chester went low, gently touching his paw to her leg.

I was amazed.  Amazed.... and thinking surely this was an accident, surely he meant to go HIGH ~ obviously the poor pup was just plain pooped.

Again, I asked Chester to high five Kate and John.  He did, waving his furry paw HIGH.

And just to double check, again, I asked him to high five Lynnie.  Reaching low, he touched his paw gently to her leg. 
Lynnie's eyes were Dance Dance Dancing...

I pray I never stop being amazed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quiet Moments with My Therapy Dog

This is my tree....well not actually MY tree, it is our across-the-street-neighbor's tree.  Paul, Esther, Caroline, and "Labby" the yellow lab just happen to share it with us.  Each morning, I pour a cup of steamy hot coffee, and snuggle into my chair, Chester nestles by my side, and I begin my day.  Just quiet moments to BE.  Pray. Read. Ponder. Reflect. Write. Cry. Wrestle. Smile. Rejoice. Thank. Nestle.

I love this tree. The Lord knows how much I enjoy the beauty of His creation and I think He planted this treasure with me in mind :-). Each place we've been blessed to live, He has given me beauty to enjoy.  In Colorado, the majestic Rockies. In California and Hawaii, the sea. And here. My tree. Right outside my window.

I call it my Season Tree.

Springtime. Brilliant with pink blossoms. Especially bright after a long cold winter. Long awaited spring bursts forth in my tree, and in my heart.

Summer.  She is lush and bright, a vibrant green.  Offering cool shade and protection from the heat.

Autumn.  Her leaves turn crimson red, one last hurrah of brilliance before her leaves die and drop to the ground.  A dazzling display, and then...

Winter. Bare branches.  So bare and stark, in fact my first winter here, I wondered if  she would  survive the gray, freezing, bitter-cold days?  Was she even alive?
And then....   then.... came spring.


In this spot with coffee cupped in my hands, therapy dog at my side, Heavenly Papa whispering to my heart~~I am thankful.  Thankful for the seasons. And, thankful that no matter what, no matter what, spring always comes again.                              

The Easter Egg Hunt

" get to wear bunny ears today!  Honest, you look cute."
Melissa days at Schreiber rank right up there at the very top of our favorite things to do.  Last Tuesday was no egg-ception, even though Chester did a weee bit of pouting over the bunny ears.

For therapy time today, Chester and Melissa had an Easter Egg Hunt, just the two of them.  Chester brought eggs filled with candy for Melissa ~ Melissa brought eggs filled with PEANUT BUTTER GIRL SCOUT COOKIES for Chester. (heav------en on earth for the boy).   Did I mention Keith ate quite a large number of Chester's stash of peanut butter Girl Scout Cookies this year???  I only mention that to make the point that Chester was especially excited about his treats.

Ready ...  Set .... Go!

 We scattered the eggs.  Melissa bent down to reach for hers & saved the candy for the ride home. Chester, on the other hand,  sniffed out his, cracked the plastic eggs open, and snarfed his cookies on the spot. Best hunt ever.

One more thing ~ we celebrated Melissa's 14th birthday.  Happy Birthday Melissa!

So HAPPY to see YOU!

Today one of our good friends stopped in to say Hi!   Keith and I said, "Mary's here!" and  zipped to the door to welcome her with hugs.  Chester was so HAPPY to see his buddy, Mary, thathe went up on his hind legs,  planted big front paws on Mary's shoulders, gave her doggie kisses from ear to ear, and whaled this pathetic moaning sound, or humming noise, (it's hard to just have to hear it), while his tail went in whirly-bird circles.

"Hey..." I said in my serious no-nonsense voice, pulling Chester back, "What happened to Mr. Therapy Dog?  Off!"  Reluctantly he obeyed. I gave him THE LOOK. I mean really, this is ridiculous. He looked at me.  He gave me THE LOOK.

Mr. Dog Whisperer, Cesar, woulda pointed his finger and said "tssss."  Our doggie trainer friends, Jill, Laurie, Michelle, Sherrie (why do I have so many dog trainer friends?) would have rolled their eyes at ME and sent me back to beginning puppy school 101.

Honest and true, Chester does know how to do meet and greet  like a champ.  Deep down he knows. And Chester does not do this hug thing with everyone. He doesn't.  BUT, there are a select few of you out there, and you know who you are, well it's like he just can't contain himself.  Don't tell him I said this but just gotta break the rules :-) .

Reminds me of a song that I love.  Even as I type this, my head starts bobbin' and I'm singin' away..., "Can't hold my love back from you, can't hold my love back from you, I gotta sing, gotta sing, sing my love...."  

I'm with Chester, sometimes when I see certain people, well, I can't help it, I can't hold back.  East Coast Protocol goes out the window, and I just hug away, and sometimes, (hold on) I even kiss people on the cheek.  I do.  I really do.

So, IF you are one of those people that Chester gives giant hugs to....well, just sayin' He can't hold his love back from you... And he'll even hummmmm it in your ear :-)

I'll keep working on the proper training greeting thing with Mr. Therapy Dog, I promise, but there are times.... ya just gotta break the rules and go for it.  Don't you think?  (Don't you dare tell him I wrote this.)