Follow Up Friday – Cucumber Edition

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Our friend, Miss Jodi, initiated this great idea to update readers on previous posts.  She created a lovely badge to go with her idea.

Saturday: The Doctor was IN

Last Saturday, we concluded our remembrances of our sweet golden girl, Koko, by sharing a few of her Pet Therapy experiences at Miami Children’s Hospital.  So many of you warmly acknowledged Koko’s healing efforts, which meant a great deal to us.

Sunday: Black and White Vibes for Champ

Our anipals and their bipeds rock! We featured our K9 buddy, Champ, still waiting for his forever home.  Wowee, wow wow did you send good wishes, crossed fingers and paws and good vibes his way.  We’ll keep you posted as we learn more… and … thank you.

Monday: Outlook Understanding

While Mom remains in Outlook H-E Double Toothpicks, lots of bipeds acknowledged that Mom did not suffer alone.  I personally appreciate the solid advice you provide tech-challenged Mom.  She has an S-O-S out to her IT biped and awaits his reply.  (I’m hoping for faster rather than slower reply as Mom needs to access her folders to write her Kitchen Counselor Newsletter this weekend.

Tuesday: Danish Cukes

Miss Ellen and her family gave a hearty paws, I mean thumbs up for Mom’s cucumber dish, as did many of you.  Mom’s personal feedback; a bit too acidic for her tummy, she might try less vinegar or lemon juice for herself next time.  Lots of my fellow K9s gave high paws for cucumbers and a few of my pals did not know K9s could eat cucumbers.

No Technology Wednesday:

Due to the Jewish Holiday, Mom (who COULD have scheduled an auto post) missed our usual Wordless Wednesday.

Wordless Thursday?

Mom bent the rules and made up for WW on Thursday, featuring Gatsby, the newest addition to the anipal family at Mom’s office.  You guys (Mom’s NJ term of endearment), reacted like we did with a lot of awws, cute, adorable etc…  (Mom’s behind responding, she had her 2nd class of the week yesterday; Korean cooking on Monday night and Fall Vegetarian yesterday afternoon!)

Another great FUF – Cucumber edition, day!

Koko – The Therapist is In!

Hey It’s Jet Here.

My fursister and Mom volunteered weekly at Miami Children’s Hospital for 4.5 years.  Koko LOVED going.  Mom used Koko’s special leash and often added a fancy collar to Koko’s accessories.  Even though we all know that sitting in the backseat is safer for K9s, Koko felt like she would have a more meaningful ride to “work” if she sat in the passenger seat!  Koko drew many stares and smiles from other drivers as Mom threaded her way through morning rush hour.

Upon entering the parking garage, Mom clipped on Koko’s ID which seemed to flip on Koko’s Happy Hostess mode.  Mom educated everyone who saw she and Koko together, explaining that Koko was a therapy dog here to visit the children and their families.

After walking down the LONG hallway to check in at the Volunteer Office, Koko greeted Grace giving her lots of lovies in exchange for a treat to be delivered after working!  They took the elevator to 2E and began their visits.  Here are a few of the most memorable experiences:

  • A little boy, about 4 years old, jibber-jabbered to Koko in his own language as he stood beside her petting her back.  The boy’s Mom began to cry.  My Mom freaked out inside wondering what she had done wrong.  After the boy’s Mom settled down (felt like forever, probably three minutes in reality), Mom asked if she or Koko did something upsetting.  The Mom replied that the little boy was autistic and had not uttered a word in over a month before setting eyes on Koko.
  • Mom knocked as always announcing Koko’s arrival and asked if she and Koko could enter.  The boy’s Mom said ok, explaining that her son, about seven or eight feared dogs.  Mom had Koko sit beside her by the door and spoke to the boy, telling funny Koko stories. (let’s say Mischief Monday caliber.)  The next week, she and Koko went halfway into the room.  The third week, she had Koko sit below the window.  The boy and the Mom sat on the pull out chair.  Mom explained that most people who fear dogs worry about a dog biting them.  Mom always showed the families how Koko had a soft mouth and what that meant.  She told the little boy she would hold Koko’s head (giving Koko lots of kisses) and he could pet her tail.  He ended up petting all the way up to her mid back.  The Mom had tears in her eyes.  Several weeks later, they coincidentally met in the hallway.  The boy was visiting one of the doctor’s offices for a follow-up.  Mom had Koko stay, held her head thinking the boy would pet Koko’s swishing tail.  He surprised both his Mom and my Mom by petting Koko all the way up to her neck!  What a victory!
  • Koko believed all beds were meant for her.  She could not fathom why the hospital did not permit her to hop right up and cuddle.  At 55 lbs. you can imagine the answer!  Mom figured out a solution and placed a chair beside the child’s bed, Koko hopped up, and just like Lucy… The Doctor was IN!  Mom always wanted to get Koko a pair of glasses!  Anyway, towards the end of their volunteering, the first children from the Haitian earthquake started arriving.  Koko transcended the language barrier, sitting in her chair, communicating love and warmth.  Working with translators, Mom learned the words for dog, pretty, sweet and girl.  After the horrors the children lived through, sometimes stroking Koko, receiving a Koko Kiss or looking into each other’s eyes nose-to-nose, provided a few minutes of relief.

Mom considered volunteering with Koko a privilege, knowing they brought a brief ray of sunshine into a difficult situation.  My human grandfather always wondered how Mom could stay so positive seeing sick children every week.  She responded, “You see shoulders relax, sleep begin, laughter emit, eyes soften, fear subside, strangers become connected, positive energy flow, etc. and know that Koko and I made a difference for those children and their families as well as the professionals working so hard to help. You leave with a smile and a slurp of water (served from the water fountain in a cup!)

Another great pet therapy day.

Thanks to Life With DogsConfessions of the Plume and Two Little Cavaliers for hosting the Saturday Blog Hop.

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So Long Sammy

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Mom learned some sad news this week.  My good friend and neighbor, Samson, the Goldendoodle, officially moved to Sedona, Arizona.  We patiently waited for Sam to return with my human friend, Miss Denise, to introduce all of you to our last pack member.  We waited, and waited, and waited, each time finding out from Miss Denise that Sam would return in a little while.

Sam loved my sister, Koko.  He loved her so much he virtually ignored me when we had play dates in his yard.  Oh sure, the three of us played the chase game at first, circling the clump of plants with a tree in the middle and then racing down the straightaway for about five minutes and then poof, I became invisible.  Mom and Miss Denise laughed and said that Koko must have emitted her “Cougar” pheromones, since she was his senior by about 4 – 5 dog years.

Mom encouraged Miss Denise to join the pet therapy program at Miami Childrens Hospital, which she did.  Sam soared in his therapy dog role and the children enjoyed learning that Sam and Koko were boyfriend/girlfriend!  Sam left for Arizona shortly before Koko fell ill and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I looked forward to introducing Sam to JJ and wondered if he would feel the same way about her as he did about Koko.

Since Sam’s yard backed up on Dixie’s yard, sometimes, Miss Mary Ann would pass Dixie over the fence to join the party, while she chatted with Miss Denise and Mom.  On an excellent day, Miss Beverly would hear all the hoopla and bring Neve over.  Miss Beverly lives next door to the right of Miss Denise.  On those special days, we created our own dog park!

With heavy hearts, we wish Sam a great life hiking the trails, chasing the herd (we learned that he hangs out on some kind of ranch at times) and loving everyone he meets.

Another great, but, slightly sad inside, day.

J Therapy

Hey, It’s Jet Here.

Yesterday, Mom disappeared for a really long time. Later, I heard her tell Auntie Liz (Happy Birthday Auntie Liz) she unexpectedly took Rachel’s Grandma to the hospital. I didn’t understand a lot of words, however, they sounded technical and complicated. Our Tia (Aunt in Spanish) Angela kindly fed us our yummy dinner. When Mom returned home, JJ and I gave her a super waggy hello. Jet, can I write the next paragraph? Sure Mom.

Yesterday reminded me that pet therapy starts at home. Upon returning to the house after a mentally draining afternoon/early evening, the moment I transitioned from the garage to my kitchen, my mood pivoted. Koko always greeted me at the door, tail wagging so hard I often wondered how it didn’t fall off. Jet arrives at the door with bed body, since my entrance usually interrupts a nap in his daybed. Sound sleeper JJ, eventually arrives at the door, shaking off the sleep I disturbed. Somehow, Jet and JJ knew yesterday was different.

They had the full-on wag going and behaved as if I returned from a 2 week vacation. They both rolled over for extended belly rubs. Jet emitted his little happy noises, which in cat language would be a purr, in horse language a whinney. The duration of the greeting surprised me. When they both calmed down enough to leash them up for their slightly overdue nightly walk, I realized my emotional equilibrium returned to center. What a gift. Uh Mom… can I continue? Of course, and thank you Jet, sorry I ran long. No worries Mom.

During our walk, while the Booms have disappeared, I still feel something called hypersensitive about noise. I stood stock still two separate times. Mom eventually realized that I heard a plane and helicopter before she did. Mom performed our “Jet” therapy:

  • She asks me to sit,
  • We take a few deep breaths,
  • She tells me in her sweet voice I’m safe and loved and
  • She knows I can do it,
  • She kisses me on the nose and a place called the third eye,
  • We wait (she counts to 10)
  • And then we move on.

Another great and therapeutic day.