Since I spend a vast amount of time at work talking about my dog as if he was my son, my colleagues were eager to know how the first visit was. I tried to explain that, in a word, it was "hard." You see, it's not like we're just fulfilling requests of people who have asked to have a dog come visit them and are expecting us. Each week we visit one floor of the hospital, armed with nothing more than Oscar's smile and list of patients which contains only their name and how many days they have been in the hospital for. The difficult part is that many of these patients are quite sick, are not expecting you, may be sleeping, and you have no idea how they are feeling, or if you should interrupt them - or even if they will want to see you when you DO decide to wake them up.
To make matters worse, each patient is supposed to sign a "release" form acknowledging that they have approved the therapy dog visit - but it's really awkward to have to ask these patients: some very sick, some elderly, some non-English speaking, some suspicious, some illiterate - to sign any kind of release - as I fear they are already wary of people trying to take advantage of them or to sabotage their rights.
Now, as a poker player and a person with good people skills, I think one of my strengths is reading and reacting to people. In the hospital however, it's very hard to tell when you peek in on a patient who has their eyes closed if they will be happy to see you and your dog, or if they will be annoyed that you've just woken them up after they finally managed to fall asleep despite the pain of their recent surgical incision.
Still, we managed to navigate our way throughout the floor - taking a few early rejections in stride, and basking in the graciousness and smiles of several patients who acknowledged how Oscar brightened their day. Oscar did not rip out any IV's, despite his attempt to play "bedtime crazy time" with one woman who asked that we put him up on her bed (this is his favorite game when we get in bed at night - he spins around like a mad man, barks, and pounces at me while I pretend to hide under the covers). Oscar is still getting used to all the medical equipment - and his size is a little awkward - he's just small enough that it's awkward for the patients to lean over and pet him, and just big enough that we have to be very careful who's lap we place him on - especially knowing that many of these patients are surgical patients - but not knowing the nature of their surgeries.
One woman asked us "What made you decide to do this?" I explained to her that Oscar made people smile - no matter who saw him, or where we were - and we just wanted to see if we could spread that happiness around to people who might need it.
"Well, you put a smile on my face," she confirmed, as Oscar licked her hand.
until next time,
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
until next time,
Friday, June 08, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
So every time I TILT myself and get mad that I smooth called instead of raised, or made a shitty payoff on the river, I'll think of Steve - and the fact that I deserve a big "fuck you" for sweating the little things.
My Dad reads my blog on occasion now - he's an elementary school teacher (for a few more weeks at least! He's retiring after 30 something years at the end of the month!), and his school's Internet filter blocks this site sometimes. I'm sure this post will cause it to be blocked, because I'm about to unleash a stream of FUCK YOU's, but, in the words of Tom Cruise's Joel Goodsen in Risk Business, "Sometimes you just have to say "What the Fuck?""
I try not to give stupid celebrities any more breath than they deserve, but I figure some of the latest news deserves a few FUCK YOU's.
Lindsay Lohan - REALLY? You get arrested for DUI and you're not even old enough to drink? Really? FUCK YOU! How the fuck do you crash your car driving drunk when you're underage... and YOU'RE LINDSAY FUCKING LOHAN?!?!?! Can't she hire a driver? THIS tilts me... "Kid Dynamite, what's the big deal?" you ask... Yeah - as long as Lindsay just keeps driving into trees, no harm no foul - but drunk driving is far from a victimless crime, and I don't think I need to get preachy on this. She should do some time in the joint, and have to poop in front of other people, (and toss the salad, of course.)
Jerry Buss - seems like a decent guy - but gets arrested for drunk driving a day after LL. Come on Jerry - you're worth about a billion dollars, play high stakes poker with pocket change, and bang chicks less than half your age - do you REALIZE how much you have to lose? Hire a fucking driver!
In other news - have you seen the new Streetview feature on Google Maps? They don't have it in every city, but basically what they did was drive around in a van with several cameras on it, and build a visual map database similar to the "virtual tours" you see on real estate sights - only this is basically for the world... eventually. Pretty awesome.
I'm a little worried about the future of American society. Sports Illustrated used to have a weekly sidebar titled "This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse," - and if the new shows Pirate Master and Sunset Tan don't qualify, I don't know what does.
until next TILT,