Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Canine Therapist

I can't walk through the lobby at my mother's apartment building with Chagall. Every person wants to speak to and pat my boy. He swings that tail and greets all who approach and any new face. As he has matured and mellowed Chagall has developed into quite a therapy dog. We are not officially affiliated with any of those wonderful organizations, like Caring Canines, but Chagall is certainly playing the role perfectly.

There is a lovely little lady who calls my dog Boots in memory of her beloved animal. Every time she sees Chagall the biggest smile takes over her whole being as the memories come rushing in.
Her dog got his name because of his white feet. I call Chagall's four white paws "spatz". Coupled with his white chest he has a tuxedo on at all times.

A wheelchair-bound young man who lives on my mother's floor has also formed a special relationship with Chagall. He is clearly afraid of dogs, but is working bravely to overcome it by befriending my pup. He always calls out Chagall's name when he spots us. While on leash I have Chagall go and sit beside him. The young man appropriately extends his hand to be sniffed and then gives a few quick pats. A triumph!

During the week Chagall takes his job as pack leader of my dog walking group very seriously. It is a great source of pride. At the end of every day he is satisfied and tired. Well done. It is great that during the weekend he can continue performing a service for my mom's neighbors.

I am so glad that I can give him a life filled with love and purpose. He reciprocates in every way, every day!!

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