It was probably a year since I’ve heard her say anything. Don’t get me wrong, she always seemed content as she sat in her recliner. When I took the extra time to make eye-contact with her, she always smiled back at me. At least her silence was not because of anger or because of being overly medicated. Yet, like I said, it had been probably about a year since I’d heard an intelligible word roll past her lips—until today!
It had been about a month since I’ve brought Chewie, my English Bulldog, into Josephine to visit the children and residents. Some of the residents had been bugging me to bring her in again—but Chewie in the morning is often like my teenage boys—not always easy to wake up and get out of bed. When you add to this the extra time and effort to get her fed, out of the house, and into the car in a timely manner—it can be a battle I’m not always willing to face each morning—but I did today and I am so happy I did!
When I brought Chewie into our Memory Care that afternoon, and she finished cleaning the carpet of the little runaway morsels of food from lunch plates, Chewie made her way to the residents to get her petting for the day. “Is that your dog?”— this was the question that floated through the air and into my ears. When I turned my head to look for its author, I saw her leaning over her recliner reaching towards the floor, her head was turned up to look into my eyes, and flashing at me was the biggest smile you’d ever seen—it was Rose! As I looked even closer at her beautiful face, I noticed another telling detail— a single tear came out of her right eye and was making its way down her wrinkly cheek. She petted Chewie with this amazing combination of purpose and love and then graced me with her second full sentence in a year: “She makes me so happy!”
Thanks, dear Partners in Christ, for allowing us to continue our ministry here at Josephine Caring Community. If you have a pet you’d like to share, contact our Activities Department. It might be the very thing that might bring a forth life!