Jasper's Visit To The Nursing Home

Jasper was of no special breed. He was just a little black and white longhaired, terrier cross. And he wasn't a registered therapeutic dog, but his visits were certainly therapeutic.

It was a joy to see the expressions on the faces of many of the people when they saw us walking in to the “Home” to visit his special person, "Auntie Clare." Some folks, who normally sat with a blank expression on their faces, literally came “alive” when they saw us coming down the hall with Jasper. We often took our cat. Honey, too. "Auntie Clare" called Honey "her" cat. But it was Jasper that the other residents at the home looked forward to seeing. His visit was a special treat. But I'll let Jasper tell his own story.

I love to visit the nursing home, and down the halls I love to roam. But first I check the nurses out to see if I may walk about. They always say, "We're glad you've come. The folks all here call you their chum."

I've come to see a special friend. I know she'll be there in the end. But first I'll greet some other folk, my head they'll pat, my back they'll stroke. So onward down the hall I go; although my progress may seem slow. These are my friends all sitting there. Some are sleeping; some just stare. Too bad these people at the home seem oh, so sad, and all alone. They sit and dream of days gone by. It breaks my heart to see them cry. And yet, how they all come alive when they see me—a dog—arrive. There's Mr. Johnson in the hall. I heard that he has had a fall. He can no longer wheel his chair: I'll lick his hand to show I care. 'Though Mrs. Ansley cannot hear, she always senses when I'm near. She offers me a small tidbit, but always makes me beg for it.

I feel so sad for Myra Wynde. Oh, did I mention? She is blind. I go so softly up to her. She puts her hand into my fur. She pats my head, and says to me, "To know you're grand I need not see." For Mr. Smith I do some tricks. To poor old Joe I give some licks.

There are so many folks to greet. To them my visit is a treat. .... Ah! There she is in her wheel chair. I see her coming-Auntie Clare. I wiggle-waggle, full of glee. Her face lights up when she sees me. "Where have you been? It's been so long! She then sings me a little song. Her memory is no longer keen. She won't remember that I've been. But that's okay. I do not care. At least I know that I've been there.

~ Helen Dowd ~
Copyright © 2006

[ by Helen Dowd Copyright © 2006, (helendowd@shaw.ca) -- submitted by: Helen Dowd ]


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