Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hospice of San Luis Obispo...An unexpected journey

While settling into this new land on California's central coast...  it proved challenging to connect with a pet therapy group.  Which was a surprise to me. After all, this IS California, land of dog friendly everything.  AND, as it turned out, my beginning here with pet therapy was not at all what I expected. shocker :-) 

While searching for a Pet Therapy group similar to KPETS in PA, (which does not exist here!), I discovered Hospice of San Luis Obispo on  my web search.  They had a pet therapy program. I called and emailed the pet therapy person.  . As it turns out "Mrs. Pet Therapy Program" moved to Sacramento about the time I moved to the central coast of California.  But at the time I did not know this... of course.

Actually, hmm, as I remember back ---see THIS is why I NEED to write things down WHEN they happen, or I forget the details. I am typing away and there is this little knock on my brain door...."remember that chain of events???"  And I paws...and I'm like, oh wow....   

So here is the oh wow, I wasn't going to even write about today, until Someone knocked on my brain door.

As I said, Hospice of SLO and I were having a hard time connecting, and as days/weeks passed I sort of  convinced myself that Hospice was not really my calling.  Or Chester's. So I didn't pursue it any further.

But then, there was this one day~
Chester and I did a spontaneous visit to Garden House, (a lovely home in Morro Bay where they tenderly care for men and women with memory loss).  A woman in the waiting room approached me. She gave me her card. She worked with a Hospice organization. She would love for us to volunteer with them.

Same day.  I am in Costco w.a.i.t.i.n.g. to get my new cool glasses :-).   Sitting and waiting with me is my buddy Chester in his therapy dog vest. A woman sits down next to me. She is a nurse with yet another Hospice group. She gives me her card. She would like Chester and I to come volunteer with her group.

Same day, I get a phone call from Hospice of SLO from the director Kris, apologizing for the delay in responding, but somehow my email got lost in the email pile....because their pet therapy person moved to Sacramento...   She was so kind and genuine; I almost jumped through the phone and asked "Would you be my friend? I 'm new here and friendless."  

So, after 3 unexpected Hospice moments in one day,  I thought perhaps I should rethink my position on "hospice not being my thing" and take a peek at this possibility for Chester and me.

Good decision.

There is a quote on a greeting card I picked up in Estes Park, Colorado. I have it hanging on my office wall ~ attached to the Rand McNally USA map, charting our journey from sea to shining sea....

"Sometimes your journey will take you off of YOUR path,... 
 Life is full of exquisite diversions."

Volunteering with Hospice of San Luis Obispo has turned out to be an unexpected & exquisite journey for Chester and me. Such a wonderful group of caring men and women who continue to teach me so very much. We are blessed to be a part. Thank you, Kris, for calling me back that day, your timing was perfect.  

Warmly signed,
  Mrs. Pet Therapy, Hospice of SLO

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