Showing posts with label Therapy dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Therapy dogs. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Three Weeks in Summer

Forgive me readers, it has been 22 days since I last posted.  And I have made many mistakes and committed to just a few major decisions.

As daughter Julie is in a nursing home, and is the youngest resident there presently, she seems to be considered either a staff sister, daughter, or granddaughter.  Julie is treated well and respectfully, although at times waiting for help is inconvenient.  But waiting for her is not life threatening, and the hours and days continue on.

Visiting with daughter takes my mornings, and worrying about her comprises the afternoons.  I try to plan something to do with her each morning: a manicure, doing a crossword puzzle, a hair trim, petting a dog.  Suggestions appreciated.  I used to take care of the entry garden area, pruning the rose bushes with clippers, picking up debris, and puttering.  That came to a screeching halt yesterday when I brought in my battery charged hedge clippers to trim the bushes and was told that this was not allowed as it was a "liability hazard."  Funny, who knew trimming plant overgrowth was considered hazardous.

When I left yesterday before lunch she was talking (high decibel level) to a resident new to her assigned meal table.  He was hard of hearing, and she was helping to make him comfortable by chatting him up.  She has a good soul.  Julie later called to tell me she encouraged him to eat, similar to how as a child she had also prodded her great grandmother to take "just a bite."   What caring lessons she learned as a child seem to have carried onwards.  Maybe she can still help someone now.  I think so.
Julie, smiling on the 4th of July, Gene, not smiling.  Dogs playing at Gene's feet, but out of sight. They were happy visiting.  Gene or I take one or two dogs several times a week to be petted and they are getting into a routine of outings in the car.  Libby, the Wonder Therapy Dog for 7 years, newly retired because of knee problems, is much better at sitting and patiently waiting for the visit to end.  Although she does like the head scratches and cookies that Julie gives them, albeit five calorie Milk Bones snapped in half.

It will not be three weeks until I again post, but sooner.  Count on it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Haps in the Household

What is happening in your world?  Mine, not so much.  Mainly the Mr. and I have been involved in taking care of our wounded pet.  Wounded neither by man nor beast, but by her own exhuberance and increasing age.

Libby Sweetpea, therapy dog and healer of the mind, had a torn ACL.  At six years of age, this is not too uncommon.  She took a flying leap off the back step, as usual, but that one leap ten days ago left her in pain with the liklihood of permanent disability if she did not have surgery to repair the tear.

So she underwent a tightrope procedure and spent one night at the animal hospital.  She probably did not miss us near as much as we missed her.  This was her little shaved leg a few days ago; she was recuperating on the lap of the Mr.

This is how Libby's dad remembers what to do for her and when to do it.  I thought it was cute that he wrote it all out.  She does not mind doing her range of motion exercises too much, and just whimpers a bit when it hurts.

Libby this morning:
I am feeling much better, thank you.

This is a pair of Faceted Rib Socks in progress:

linking to Tami at Works in Progress Wednesday

Tomorrow I am heading out to Las Vegas to play in a Scrabble tournament at the Riviera Casino and Hotel. There will be 56 competitors.  Can you find me in this listing?  Please wish me lotsa luck!

Take at look at 313 five letter J words here that I will be studying today to prepare for the tournament.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This and That and Some Knitting

Something new for fall decoration, cheap, colorful and making the living room smile with cheeriness: colorful plastic acorns.  Now really, don't they look like glass?  You, too, can have them for mere pennies and they are available at Michael's.

The Mr. and I attended two fun events this week. One was a picnic for Hospice of Western Colorado volunteers with a beach party theme.

And the pictures are of the Mr., and friend Mary who was a whiz at hoola hooping.  You can figure out who is who.

Libby Sweetpea is actually the Therapy Dog International volunteer for Hospice and I just drive her around to make her visits with hospice patients. It was the thought on the day of the picnic to leave her home because it would have actually been work for her to greet people, let them pet her, coo over her, and she would have had to be on her best behavior.  So she got the day off after working for four years for Hospice, and we allowed her to sleep in

while her driver enjoyed some picnic food of pork loin.

Then last night was the Gala Event for Community Hospital with the Moulin Rouge theme.  Proceeds ...errr...profits from the gala will be used to buy defibrillator units for our local schools.

On the needles this week is the Broken Rib Cowl:

and these baby booties (except my yarn is pink):
 with the pattern found here.

Thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you for submitting comments; they are very much appreciated.  And thank you all new followers. Please take a visit to these newest followers and say a friendly hello: The Shop Around the Corner, Merione, and Diana Evans.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meeker Sheepdog Trials

Nine of us joined the Museum of Western Colorado van for another adventure in the Colorado outdoors yesterday;  we drove up to the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials, a three day event.  The volunteers working the event said it was the biggest and best ever.  And who would disagree?  I was certainly impressed.

First off, we learned a bit about what sheepdogs must learn in order to actually herd.  And by herding, we were told that these dogs will herd anything...ducks, geese, sheep, little name it, they will herd it.  Whistles were explained, calls were named and good information abounded.  Sorry I did not get too many pictures, but this one of a professional and her dogs was the first I caught:

We settled down in our lawn chairs, hats on and sunscreen applied, and watched several hours of the sheepdog trials.

(on the course, border collie keeping the five sheep on track)

(herding directing his dog from far away by whistle)

Mick, the border collie owned by the Enzeroths, is shown with Ron and his wife in the photo below.

It was only after reading the program and reviewing the names of the 42 dogs participating in trials yesterday that I saw that the Enzeroths had listed "Dublin, Texas" as their home. Now that is a small world because I lived in Stephenville, Texas for three years. (Stephenville is about 12 miles from Dublin.)  Too bad we did not mention that little factoid when we were talking!  And if you two are reading this, I lived with my grandparents then, the L.B. Howards.  Contact me if you want to talk about Dublin and our high school football rivalry since I was an old SHS cheerleader.  Or maybe it should be "former" cheerleader since none of us wants to be considered "old".

Mick was friendly and liked his ears scratched. He and three other border collies allow the Enzeroths to live with them and take care of their high energy needs. The Mrs. said they sleep downstairs in their private kennel quarters and enjoy walks and training.  Their youngest dog is 10 weeks old, and the older is 12 years old. Mick is 2 and it was his first trial run.

You should have seen the look on Mick's face when he looked at Mr. Enzeroth. Adoring. It reminded me of when Nancy Reagan used to look up at Ronald Reagan like he was the only man in the world (for her).  Really, Mick's expression of love was just heartwarming.

Bringing in over 700 sheep from the area around Meeker is no small task, and most of the budget for the event consists of getting the sheep down for the trials and then back to their grazing areas.  Real, live, cowboys were there for getting the sheep off the eastern side of the course.  Again, sorry, no photos.

Those caring for the sheep?  What about them?  That is another whole story, but I can show you a picture of a current day sheepwagon seen off road outside Meeker, Colorado below.

The first sheepwagon was built in 1884; the standard design is 11 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, enclosed by a canvas top, with a stove for heating and cooking. The interior is designed for storage and the compact beds are tucked away.  Tables fold down when not in use....In the early years in the American west, a lone sheepherder and his dogs could tend 2,000 sheep - with the sheepwagon as his mobile home as he followed the sheep.  A camptender delivered supplies every ten days or so.  In the Meeker area, you may see sheepwagons and herders with their dogs and horses, however, they may have solar panels for power to modern conveniences. (Lee Raine...source)
This has to be cut off soon, so I will show you my acquisitions from the dog trials adventure.  Too bad I ate that delicious lamb fajita with yogurt topping without taking a picture.  But I did buy some 100% Shetland Mule Wool from the Sheepcamp people in Molina, Colorado who own a family business there and create their yarns that go from sheep to skein.  And I helped out the Western Border Collie Rescue by purchasing one of their monogrammed shirts.  After Libby Sweetpea retires from her day job as a registered Therapy dog,( link  link link link link link) maybe an older collie would make a good therapy dog.

Western Border Collie Rescue ... Because Every Dog Should Have Its Day!

This is the 2012 winner of the Meeker Sheepdog Trial Art Contest:

A fun day.  Good luck to all those wonderful dogs in the contest this year, and to the people they own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Eyelashes on Dogs

The question is: DO DOGS HAVE EYELASHES?

The answer: YES

And our other dog Mercy has very long lashes:

from Nancy's Floral Art Blog

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wordless Post 2KCBW DAY5

2KCBKWDAY5: This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.

There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:
•Wordless, photographic post
•Video blog post
•Cartoon/sketch of an idea
•Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
•Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?
•A poem or piece of rhyming verse
•Stop motion animation
Go on over to Eskimi's blog to join in with the blog-along.

"To read more posts on the topic ‘Whatever Happened to your ____"  from bloggers around the world, all blogging today, enter the code 2KCBWDAY5 into Google or your search engine of choice. Happy reading, and happy blogging."

Friday, January 14, 2011

KKCO 11 News and Libby's Entre into Fame on Local TV

My husband is clever. Really.  He is clever.

A local television station here in Grand Junction, KKCO 11 News is having a contest that is all about barks.  Dog barks.  The station needs a spokesdog for their coupon advertisement with a dog as their mascot.

Our younger dog Libby (yeah, that same one that has so many links on both our blogs) gives Gene the WHAT FOR each time she comes in from a walk.  She barks for her treat after doing a good walk.

The husband recorded that bark for the contest of barking dogs on 11 News.  Wish Libby luck on being selected for the News11 Dog Bark.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Therapy Dogs and Getting Ready for Dog Work

Just an update on Libby and her Therapy Dogs International visits: she has been awarded a new certificate for 250 completed "official" visits with clients requesting her pooch services of dog licks and cuddling.

This is her previous certificate.
Her "new" certificate is in the mail.

(See video on sidebar for Libby's Work Day)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Therapy Dogs

Let's talk about Therapy Dogs International.

When friends and family ask about therapy dog and owner responsibilites and what we do, the same questions are often asked.  Here is a rundown of typical questions and answers:

Q: What are the requirements to have a dog certified as a therapy dog?
A:  The dog (and owner) must pass eleven requirements in order to be certified as a "therapy dog".

Q: So what are the steps?
A: see photo below (click on highlighted area to enlarge)

Q: Can all dogs qualify for training?
A: No.  The dog must allow petting and be unafraid of strangers, loud noises, and differing situations.  One of our dogs was not a good candidate for TDI training, and one pup was willing to be trained.

Q: How do I get started in the process of training my dog?
A: Any obedience training program is the first step in teaching your dog to comply with the requirements.

Q:  I have a yappy dog; can she be trained to work for her kibble?
A: Yes, we have a b*tch of a dog when she is at home, loves to bark and jump, etc. (sorry to have to admit this)...but on the job, she is a behaver.

Q:  How much time does this take?
A: As much time as you are willling to give.  Practically any nursing facility, hospital, hospice, school (Wagging Tails is a separate program tutoring kids in reading), special care housing, assisted living, hospital or medical clinic is willing to entertain the idea of therapy dogs.

Q: What are my responsibilites in visiting with my dog?
A: Be open to the person you are visiting.  Remember that the visit is not about your and your dog, it is to meet the needs of the person whom you are visiting.  The person you are helping generally does not want to hear about your stories or life history.   The dog facilitates conversation and contact with the client, and helps to engage the client with distraction and productive time.

If you have any questions about how you might volunteer with your animal fur friends, feel free to contact Therapy Dogs International via email or call them at (973) 252-9800.

Monday, October 5, 2009

St. Francis of Assisi: Blessing of the Animals

Sunday was a special day for all our animal companions as it was the day of  the Blessing of the Animals, a tradition set aside to honor St. Francis of Assisi.  This Blessing of the Animals was given in recognition of God's love for all creatures, and acknowledging that humans are helped by animals.
Oct. 4 is the day set aside to honor St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). St. Francis had a great love for all of God's creatures, and for many years a blessing of animals has been held on his feast day. The appreciation of animals is part of celebrating the creative love that God has bestowed on the world. Blessing the animal companions honors how God touches humans through each creature.

St. Francis is not the only saint who loved animals. In drawings found in medieval manuscripts, there are images of early animal blessings performed by St. Anthony the Abbott (also known as St. Anthony of Egypt), who lived in the third century. The first formal church-organized animal blessings were held in Rome in the early 20th century...

Yesterday, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Grand Junction, there was a special service to bless the animals.

Click on links below if you want to learn more about how our Therapy Dog Libby goes about her day, and information about Therapy Dog International:.

Libby's Work Day (a video)

A recent communication from Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado relayed the need for additional dogs for use with their patients.  Contact Judy in Grand Junction at 970-241-2212 for further information if you would like to offer your dog and yourself as hospice dog team volunteers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eye Staining on White Dogs: Using Systane Eye Drops

In conversation with a patient at our local hospital with therapy dog Libby Sweetpea, the gentleman we spoke with gave me a great tip. Surprising what great ideas crop up in conversations with new people in different situations! This patient had formerly bred Pomeranian puppies and was familiar with eye staining problems, especially on dogs with white fur.

He suggested that I buy an over-the-counter lubricating eye drop called Systane and place a few drops of this product into the corners of Libby's eyes. His ophthalmologist had recommended it for humans with dry eyes AND for dogs. (I bought a two pack, one for my dry eyes and one for Libby's stained eyes.)
Well, it works! I have tried using baking soda mixed with water for a paste and Angel Eyes, but this solution seems an easier tact to follow to keep the pup's eyes clear of stain. Just saying...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Therapy Dog Has Letters after her Name!

Back in June, Libby the Maltipoo was certified by Therapy Dogs International. A LOT has gone on regarding her work status since last summer. She has been a very busy pup with her visitations.

A slideshow of Libby's Typical Work Day, complete with music, can be viewed here:
Kenny Chesney singing "Shift Work" as background for Libby's Work Day.

And, after fifty (yes 50!) times that she has made rounds visiting patients at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers and our local Regional Center, she has now attained her credentials of "TDIA", standing for "Therapy Dog International Active" status.

In a letter received yesterday from TDI based in Flanders, NJ, she received this message that says, in part:

In creating the TDIA title, it was our intent to inspire more members to actively participate in therapy visits. We encourage you to continue this important work, documenting your next 100 visits for your... (next certification which terms her as an outstanding volunteer).
A certificate of Achievement was presented to Libby Sweetpea, and that is now displayed on the refrigerator in our kitchen.

Here is Libby looking proud:
A little more about the Therapy Dog Program and requirement for the dogs:

In 2007, over 15,000 handlers and approximately 18,000 dogs were registered with TDI. Libby passed the qualifying steps of sitting and staying on command, being out of the owners' sight for three minutes without stressing, being able to accept strangers and their attentions, and being nonchalant around wheelchairs,crutches, walkers and crowds (among other tasks).

Keep on trucking, Libby!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Therapy Dog at Work

In May of 2008, Libby Sweetpea was discussed in her training as a therapy dog at a local nursing facility. And again, in June, Libby was featured in this post: therapy-dog-now-certified.

Now she has gone to work as a certified Therapy Dog and this is Libby's Video, complete with the background song "Shiftwork", made popular by Kenny Chesney. Libby is shown at St. Mary's Hospital and The Grand Junction Regional Center in this video. She and mom also visit with hospice patients.

Click here to see a working dog: Libby's Work Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

November is National Hospice Month; Veterans' Day Appreciation

All of us must face grief in our lives. Coping with grief is a topic which I have been researching lately because it has hit so close to home in these past months.

Grief comes in many forms, not only in the loss of a loved one through death, but also in the form of other significant losses. Loss of a job, a relationship, an income, our youth, good health, and even the realization of losing unreached expectations can all be forms of deep loss.

There are online support groups for loss who have experienced loss, such as Grief Net, “where grace happens” and Grief Recovery, dedicated to grief loss and recovery. There are community based programs dealing with grief, such as Western Colorado Hospice and Palliative Care Program, with which I am proudly associated.

Last month I completed 30 hours of volunteer training for this group, and look forward to working in the patient care setting for this organization either at the inpatient care center, in private homes, or in nursing homes. Our local hospice has over 300 volunteers, which is a real tribute to our giving community.

From Gifts of Grief, a 52 minutes film can be ordered:
The Gifts of Grief asks a timely important question - How do we transform the tragedy of our losses into a life altering experience that deepens and enriches our lives?...We explore the possibility that grief while very painful, it is one of the closely guarded keys to true transformation and joy.
In a previous post Certified Therapy Dog, and also here at Therapy Dog in Nursing Facility, Libby Sweetpea has been highlighted as a helper dog. She will continue to help me at our local hospice.

An excellent video which I watched over the weekend, entitled "Wounded Warriors", gave helpful information about dealing with war veterans as they face their own mortality and deaths. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was high on the list for acute awareness in dealing with those who have been engaged in our armed forces, and especially those who have faced battle.

Grief issues addressed to Vietnam veterans are covered succinctly in an article at this Australian supported site A Digger and a Bloke. The article is much too long to quote in this post, but it is worth reading for the enlightenment factor of what veterans often face when dealing with PTSD.

Thank you, veterans, for your service. Thank you, all hospices world-wide, in sensitively dealing with end of life issues.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dogs as Helpers; Animals in Heaven

On Monday, therapy dog Libby Sweetpea, Cathy, her two therapy dogs and I visited the Grand Junction Regional Center operated by Colorado's Dept. of Human Services.

We two adults and our three pets visited the 32 people receiving highly specialized care in one section at the Center. Most of the people receiving care, although non-verbal, seemed to be highly receptive to the animals, and a few petted the dogs with enthusiasm and gentleness. I was very much impressed with the excellent care provided by the direct patient providers.

Previously, I have written about Therapy Dogs International here in an earlier post and here after Libby received her official Therapy Dog certification.

While on a visit last week to St. Mary's Hospital, Libby and I visited with a woman whose dog had died several years ago.

That conversation brought up the subject of "animals in heaven."

Wanting to check out this line of thinking, here are a few sites I visited:

(photo courtesy of saintfrancisfoundation)

Do Animals Go to Heaven? and reassurances can be found here.

Both sites give assurances that life with beloved pets are valuable in many ways. This was certainly validated yesterday when I saw the positive interaction our dogs provided those with many special physical needs.

Here is a sweet poem given us upon the death of our older pet several years ago. The office staff of the veterinarian all signed the card that said:

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together......."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Therapy Dog Now Certified by TDI

Yesterday, Libby the Maltipoo gained her evaluation requirements for registration with the international organization of TherapyDogs. In 2007, over 15,000 handlers and approximately 18,000 dogs were registered with TDI.

Libby passed the qualifying steps of sitting and staying on command, being out of the owners' sight for three minutes without stressing, being able to accept strangers and their attentions, and being nonchalant around wheelchairs, crutches, walkers and crowds (among other tasks).

She will receive her "dog tag" with her picture on it, a laminated card similar to a driver's license, which she must wear at all times while on duty.

Libby also gained her American Kennel Club Good Citizen Award yesterday. Boy, does she look proud!

This is a picture of a 3 pound, 5 oz. Chihuahua who also was tested yesterday at the Mesa County Fairgrounds by certified TDI evaluator Cathy Clark.

And here is another photo from the TDI site of a therapy dog at play with a kiddo who seems to be enjoying the session.