Focus on the Feet

Today, Cabana and I visited the Alzheimer's residence. I took my camera with me so I could get a shot or two of Cabana working, but I was careful not to take photos of the residents since that is usually discouraged. When I came home and uploaded my photos, I saw that they all had a recurring theme--FEET!

cabana laying on top of a large orange colored ottoman, there are a few human feet resting on the ottoman, one is a skinny bare foot with a sandal laying next to it, the other are not so skinny feet with black shoes on themHere is Cabana doing a "go to bed" on an ottoman, while we visit with a couple of nice women, as represented by their feet in the photo. The barefooted woman asked me what grade I was in. I explained that I am 46-years old and no longer in school, but that I was flattered by her question. I remembered the barefooted woman's name from previous weeks, so she was flattered back at me that I remembered her. I was a bit scared of the black shoe wearing woman because she looks and sounds really gruff, yet she told me repeatedly how wonderful I was to come visit them. I came home and wrote down her name on my cheat-sheet post-it note, so that I can try to flatter her next time. After all, flattery can get you everywhere...but maybe only for 5 minutes in an Alzheimer's ward (ha ha).

tiny brown chihuahua wearing a pink sweater with heart on the back, standing in between some human feet and the feet of a walker that has pink tennis balls on the bottom of the legsIn between the black shoe and the white sneaker is Bella, who belongs to one of the residents. Bella does NOT warm up quickly to humans or dogs. On our previous visits, Bella barked at us the entire time we were in the room. But today, she didn't bark once--progress! These Alzheimer's residents may not remember us, but Bella sure seems to. Right now, she won't let me pet her, and she won't let Cabana sniff her--but it is now my therapeutic mission in life to make friends with this little sweater-wearing munchkin. You can bet your pink tennis balls on that, Bella!

a white basset hound with light brown spots and the usual loonnng ears and droopy eyes, this hound has super duper long toenailsThis dagger-clawed hound is Honey, who hangs out at the reception desk. Honey is a sedentary old gal, which is a good thing because if she jumped up on anyone, those toenails could inflict some damage, don't you think?! Last time we were there, Honey actually romped around the lobby with Cabana. A few staff members were amazed, saying that they've never seen Honey play with anybody or anything. But today, when Cabana tried to play with her, Honey harumphed and growled--she wasn't in the mood. It was a balmy 83 degrees, so maybe she was too hot to romp. We'll see if she wants to play next time we visit.

These little doggy goals help motivate me because this dog therapy stuff is harder than I thought! I figured Cabana would be the one "working" and I wouldn't have to do much more than hold onto her leash--how naïve of me! My introverted social needs are so minimal that spending an hour talking to strangers can be daunting, especially when the conversations tend to be a string of non sequiturs. But I figure this is like any new discipline--it takes practice, making mistakes, being flexible, and willingness to learn. Hey, maybe I'm still in school after all. I'll let you know when I make it past Kindergarten.

Deborah  – (March 30, 2011 at 7:00 PM)  

That must have been so nice. You and Cabana are awesome!

Amber-Mae  – (March 30, 2011 at 9:04 PM)  

OOOH I bet those feeties smelled great!

Martha G  – (March 30, 2011 at 10:18 PM)  

Oh boy - we get to see Cabana working! She looks so comfortable. I bet in time it will get easier for you That pink chihuahua is a hoot!

JackDaddy  – (March 30, 2011 at 11:35 PM)  

What a wonderful thing you are doing!

Kari in WeHo  – (March 31, 2011 at 10:23 AM)  

Honey is beautiful, I want to rub her ears :)


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