Has this happened to you?
You have the daily grind of Life in a delicate balance with the whole working on your career while paying ample attention to the family thing, right? There’s a groove to be found with making sure everyone has clean-ish clothes to wear and that drive-through window sustenance is kept to a minimum. Worrying about the health and welfare of your adult kid is the norm because that’s just what parents do. You’ve remembered to make the house payment on time. The dogs are getting their two square meals. The puppy training is happening. And the daily commute has been carefully planned out to avoid the annual summertime orange barrel rodeo.
The weather has been simply gorgeous and you even make it to the occasional local farmer’s market. Fresh tomatoes and Ohio grown corn enhance the dinner hour.
Life is on cruise control and you’ve set it to a quasi-legal eight miles over the speed limit.
But the smallest nudge tips your world. In a week’s time, actually. A couple of bad days in the one hour commute to the office. Accelerated deadlines for stuff you’re still learning about at work. The cat’s throwing up something more orange than clear in a manner best described as projectile.
No, no we got this, you say. Just bumps in the road. Carry on, y’all.
Then more. The weird noise you hear a car making at the traffic light turns out to be actually your very own Toyota.
A friend tells you about the cancer diagnosis for their oh-too-young service dog.
Oh man. Really?
But you can’t flinch or you’ll risk losing this Jenga match.
One more thing, Life. You mean it. Just one more thing this week and I’m gonna explode and these carefully managed wooden blocks will be crashing down.
Is that an invitation? laughs Life. Or a challenge? It’s hard to tell with you. Because, either way I think it’s a good time time for you to change jobs. Oh, not so fast there, missy. Maybe. I’ll let you know what we decide on this one. Hang loose, ok?
Sure, hanging loose is in your vocab. Always has been.
Oh, then merely a simple thing happens in a final attempt to unbalance you. A twenty four hour notice to move the office space you’ve been growing roots in for the last three years. While you’re still steaming towards that afore mentioned tight deadline.
And now it’s getting kissing cousin close to midnight and you need finish the slides for tomorrow’s presentation.
Normally, just another challenge to tackle. But now…
You survive it.
Because you have family and friends and co-workers.
And you feel pretty darn blessed. It becomes clear that you have a boatload of folk to complain to because all you really need to do is kvetch for a while to make things better.
That and the services of a professional Therapy Dog. The mighty Micron is at hand to remind us to not take Life so serious. He presents himself as a fine example.
|You called? Therapy Dog at your service.
I’m open twenty four hours. But not in a row.
Needin’ a little Pet Therapy
|Heh, check out my Serious Face
on the poster.
The Week from You-Gotta-Be-Kidding-Me closes with a morning spent among dog-loving young people to talk about Therapy Dogs. Micron and I waited all week for this.
Just to be in the presence of kids who appreciate dogs for who they are brings one to a warm and fuzzy state of mind. If there is truly such a thing as positive energy, this is the place to soak up the goodness.
We offer up a little info on recognizing dog body language and add a quick review of foods toxic to dogs. We got both kid and dog safety covered.
Then I consider how to describe what it feels like to be visited by a Pet Therapy team. We set the scene for the kids.
Imagine being away from home and having to spend an overnight in the hospital. You miss your room and your own bed. But then Pet Therapy teams show up and there are friendly dogs, cats and the softest of bunnies to pet.
How would this feel, we ask. Good, they say. It would feel wonderful.
Like, I dunno, maybe like rainbows and unicorns, I ask.
Yeah, this is an actual animated slide I use in the presentation. It’s a Mi-corn! yells one particularly clever little girl.
Micron wraps up the session by offering his therapy services to all who are willing to bend down and rub his belly.
I wondered if the timing would be too much on my favorite Therapy Dog, after all it’s not like he’s a working breed, but the next day we’re off to volunteer at a Meet & Greet booth for our therapy organization.
If we show up and Micron doesn’t want to work it, well we can all breathe easier knowing that he will indeed let me know. The dog is in no danger of becoming a wage slave.
But he’s working the crowds like a boss. He’s all about licking small children to identify the truest of dog lovers. How does a kid react when receiving a legendary Micron tongue bath? It’s like a Meyers-Briggs personality test for children. Who is a slobber accepting extrovert and who wipes their spit-tainted hands on their shorts?
|Hi folks, I’m Micron.
I’m three quarters golden and
one quarter work ethic.
His fan club from the Paws to Read library program squeal when they see him. It’s Micron!, they cry. A veteran stops by to thank our group for visiting him when he was in the hospital and shares how much it meant to him. Micron and his colleagues pass the afternoon educating folk in the ways of pet therapy.
A good day and wonderful way to end the week in a positive state of mind.
Pet Therapy is truly the stuff of wonder.
I may never learn my lesson about challenging Life. I’m not that kind of girl. Nobody knows, really, what will be next tossed at your feet, awesome or otherwise, anyway.
But my wish for you is that you also have friends, family, co-workers dog to see you through.
And a dog, of course. I wish everyone one awesome dog in their lives.
It just makes things better.