If my Uncle Z. could see, he would have been seeing double today! Zoey came along for our visit to the Rehabilitation Center in order to bring joy to more residents and patients — double dog joy!
We kept our visit a secret from Uncle Z.. We both had the day off, and so we decided to trek in to see him and boy what a surprise! He was very happy to meet my friend, A., who is Zoey’s dog mom. He said her name reminded him of a festival that was celebrated in the North End of Boston where a woman would literally fly out of a window (with cables and a harness, like Tinkerbell does in Disneyworld) in order to celebrate the holidays. A. took one look at him and was like, “No way, I’m afraid of heights!”
I tried to assure her that it would be safe, and we could set it up to be just like zip-lining, but apparently she wasn’t having it. Oh, well, maybe I’ll do it. There’s a Petco right across the way from the Rehab Center, and it’s not that far, so . . .
Now, I cannot tell you in words how happy Z. was to see us, but maybe this picture can give you an idea:
Z. appreciates every little kindness that people show to him, and he remembers EVERYTHING. Today he reminisced about his time in Hawaii when he was in the Navy. My friend, A., read his plaque on the wall and he beamed with pride. He told us how grateful he is to have a visit, and that our visit would last much longer after we left — he would continue to think about us and our little doggies long after we were no longer there physically.
To have his friends and family visit brings him great joy. At the age of 95, he does not know how many of his old friends are still alive. He can’t see the phone to dial the numbers, and he doesn’t know how to contact them anymore. Many of the residents have the same plight. They are their only company from sun-up to sun-down.
Think for a moment about how lonely that must feel.
When my mother and Ted and I go up to visit, it’s like a party! But when Zoey and A. joined us, it was like a double party. Most of the residents remembered Ted from before, but when they noticed Zoey, they did a double-take.
“OOOoohhhh . . . look at the little black doggy too! It’s like ebony and ivory!”
I loved that comment. I also loved how Zoey followed Ted’s lead in bringing puppy love to all those lonely people. As my friend, A., very succinctly said, “It’s impossible to be sad when there’s a puppy around!”
As I was driving home from the center, I turned around to look at A’s face. She was beaming, as I suspected she would be. I would like to thank her SOOO much for coming with us today, and for bringing Zoey into the world of my uncle Z. I know he won’t soon forget it, and I’m sure he just might have visions of A. flying out of the window across the street to the Petco during next holiday season. I have a year to convince her . . .
Once Z’s lunch arrived, it was time for us to go. But Ted was sure to take his doggy treats with him for the ride home!
Here’s to battling loneliness one doggy visit at a time!
Ted, Ted’s Mom, Zoey & Zoey’s Mom