Ted met a whole bunch more residents and patients this time around . . . and they were ready for him! This lovely lady here had asked someone to bring up some milk bones for her so she would have something to feed Teddy! How sweet is that?!
“Can he have a treat?” she asked.
“Of course!” I replied, as she rolled into her room to get her stash of milk bones.
My mom gave her a small body lotion in return. My mother, ever the giver, packed a bag full-o-treats for the residents (lotion for the ladies, chocolate candies for the gents).
“Oh, I know you. You’re Teddy! Come on over here!” said another resident.
We made another stop by what I affectionately refer to as the wheelchair brigade.
This young lady here reminisced about her little doggies that she used to have. I find that whenever I bring a pet with me, these patients quite literally light up like Christmas trees. Wherever Ted goes, these two ladies are sure not to be too far behind, tempting him with their doggy treats. How thoughtful of them to have their loved ones bring in snacks for Ted. I’d say Mr. Ted made a very pawsitive impression on them indeed! It’s little stuff like this that makes my heart sing.
As we made our way down to my uncle’s room, Ted hopped on a chair to let us know how comfortable he is in this environment. It’s like he is intending to run for mayor — that’s how popular he is here.
Uncle Z. was thrilled to see his “little doggy” again this week. Without prompting, Ted jumped up onto his bed as if to say, “I’m here . . . what’s for dinner today?”
Uncle Z. is legally blind and hears only with the assistance of that FM headset he is wearing in the photo, but he knows without doubt when little Teddy enters the room. He says that no matter what day of the week it is, it’s always Christmas when Ted comes to visit him.
Uncle Z. makes sure to give Ted tiny pieces of his Polish kielbasa that aren’t too big. He breaks up the pieces into bite-sized chunks for Ted and enjoys the sensation of Teddy licking the last remnants of meat off his fingers.
“It’s so ticklish,” he says with a smile.
As much as Uncle Z. is uplifted when Ted comes to visit, I am also ten times lighter and happier when I leave this place. By bringing my therapy buddy with me, I’ve just brightened the days of no less than forty to fifty patients and residents, and even some of the staff members. I can’t explain how fulfilling that feels.
I forget who it was who said that doing for others was one of the best, most noblest pursuits in life, and I have to agree. Whenever Ted and I visit, my heart is full of joy and goodness, as I know Ted’s is also (as well as his belly).
My best friend, Ellen DeGeneres, has been quoted as saying, “Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”
Tune in next week when I attempt to bring in my cat . . .
Ted and Ted’s Mom