View Full Version : Skye's First Hospital Visit

06-12-2009, 12:50 PM
Skye is a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs, International and has been actively participating in the Tail Waggin' Tutors program at Barnes & Noble in Surprise, Arizona for some time now. But..........

Wednesday she made her very first hospital visit. My brother-in-law is seriously ill and is in the hospital. Dana asked that we bring Skye. I didn't know what the procedures would be as she's not affiliated with John C. Lincoln's therapy dog program, so I called the volunteer coordinator before we left our house. All she wanted was a copy of Skye's immunization record and to see her certification docs. So off we went to pick up hubby's mother to take her with us.

I was so proud of Skye. She walked right in to all the hospital smells and commotion like she'd done it a million times before. We don't have many elevators out our way, but outside of planting all four feet solidly when
the elevator started to move, she handled it well. We first went to see the volunteer coordinator to get the paperwork out of the way. That was done very quickly.

When we got to Dana's floor and the elevator doors opened by the nurses' station, it suddenly got quiet. I thought...."Oh Lord, what has she done?" I checked the floor...no accidents. Lead was on..no problem there. She was quiet and dignified. Why were they looking at her so intensely? Then it started....How old is she? She's beautiful! When was she certified? How long can you stay? How many patients can she visit? How often can you come? I explained that Skye was there to see her "uncle" Dana only. We were not cleared to visit other patients. So we went to visit Dana.

When we came out, the head of volunteer services was waiting for us. Again....I thought we had done something untoward or violated some in-house rule. Nope.....the nurses and one doctor had asked her to come up to give Skye permission to visit other patients. She did that very quickly. We visited a few that the nurses said needed cheering badly. Again, Skye was the perfect little lady.

Before we left, we were asked to come back and be a part of John C's therapy dog program. I had to decline as it is an hour's drive each way. It's just not practical because of the distance involved.

I can't help thinking of Katie and remembering how she was so good at hospital visits. Skye is just as good as Katie was. Do you think Katie was there in spirit, helping Skye and giving her tips and hints? I kinda think
so. And yes, I still get all teary-eyed when I think of my Kates. But I also think Katie lives on in spirit. How else could Skye be so good at what she does at such a young age?

(& Skye, too)

06-12-2009, 12:57 PM
KUDOS to you and Skye - what a beautiful thing!!

Yes, I do think Katie was there, coaching Skye through the process of cheering up patients and helping them.

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today!!

06-12-2009, 01:05 PM
Go, Skye! Some dogs just bring such joy to people just by being present. Maybe there's another place closer that could use you and Skye?

06-12-2009, 07:18 PM
You go GIRLS! Made me all teary eyed. What amazing joy dogs bring to the lives of humans. Thank DOG for them :biggrin2:.

06-12-2009, 07:45 PM
WTG Skye and Linda. That's a great outcome for her first exposure to the sounds and smells of a hospital. How wonderful that she was so warmly received too. I hope you can continue to do that with her a little closer to your home. Thanks for sharing that with us! :thumb_yello:

06-12-2009, 09:15 PM
We intend to search out a hospital or assisted living home that we can visit near home. For now, she's in her glory with the reading program and working with the children.

You know the question that every single person at the hospital asked? What breed is she? Most everyone thought she was a "mutt". When I explained that she was an Australian Cattle Dog....they were clueless. They'd never heard of one. When I explained that most people refer to them as "heelers", the comment was they thought heelers were too high strung to be therapy dogs.

Did we mess up that assumption? I think we did! <grin>

Linda & Skye
(& Katie in spirit)

06-12-2009, 11:58 PM
Congratulations! That's great news for you both. I think therapy dogs are wonderful. It's awesome she did so well. :)

06-13-2009, 12:01 PM
Oh, your explanation of the silence, the looks and the eventual clustering around her brought a lump to my throat. So wonderful and obviously so needed!