Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Rest of the Story

 Well, I just have to start today's blog entry with a HUGE Thank you to Reilly and Denny for my FIRST EVER personal Christmas Card.  I can't believe it, I finally, after three years, have received my own, addressed to me, Bert, Christmas Card.  Now How Cool is that!
 So after yesterdays dramatic blog about My Vickie and I retiring from Search and Rescue work, I better come clean on what my plans are for now.   We had a couple of options that we have toyed with in the last year.   Like, believe it or not, I am actually trained to find "Bed Bugs" 

Yucky Pooh, I hear you all saying, but it is really getting to be a huge problem across the country and since I already knew how to find human remains, me and my buddy Murhpy started adding Bed Bugs to our training tools.  But, it kind of creeped My Vickie out, you know, having to be responsible to keep the little buggers alive for training. 

Or, I figured I could become a spiritual guide for evil cats like Allred.  I could study and learn the psychology behind their mis-directed anger (generally towards me) then I could help gently and lovingly lead them towards a more kind and fulfilling life of peace and love.

(I didn't get too far with that one)  (I did, however, get a bloody nose when I tried to teach Allred the errors of his way)
 I could just relax, become a couch potato, and dream about my girl Charlotte so far away.
Or, Me and My Vickie could focus more intently on our dream of being the best Therapy Dog I can possibly be.

And that is what I want to do, and I realized two weeks ago that I have a real knack for it.  I have been doing it for a few years, but now we just want to spend more of our free time doing that.

We have been asked to work with two other of my friends in a new program at a local hospital.  They have never used therapy dogs before and we are the trial ones.

I am used to working in retirement centers and with children but I was a bit nervous cause now we would be working directly with the patients.

I know I say work but it isn't work as many of you who already do this know.

I think they really love me there, cause when they know I am coming, there is a big long list of rooms to visit.  And the nurses and the doctors, well they just want to hold me and hug me and rub my fur.  It is great.....

But the best part is that now we are even invited into the Intensive Care Unit 
My job, with the help of My Vickie and my best friend Whitney (my Vickies niece) is to carefully get up into the bed with the patient and lay down next to them and go to sleep.  That's it, that is all I do.  Then they cuddle up with me and most the time they fall asleep too.  My Vickie says it is most comforting for them.  I dont' mind it either.

Like last week I got to lay next to a guy who had just had open heart surgery, a lady with a trachea tube and a happy fella who had blown his arterial vein in his neck.

They all felt so much better after our visit.

My Vickie says that she thinks the best part of it is that "touch" is involved.  She says that humans need to feel and touch and be touched.

She thinks that because of the way the world is now, that people can't just touch or hug one another but they can touch and hug a dog.  Dogs are pure, gentle and unassuming.  Dogs don't judge.  Dogs just love, love with all their hearts.  They forgive, forget, and love.

I will miss the search and rescue work, but lets face it, My Vickie is no spring chicken anymore and it is time for her to take an easier road.  So down the road we will go together.  Its a good road.....



Ina in Alaska said...

Change is good! Best wishes in this new chapter.

Unknown said...

Sometimes its the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.

Mes wishes yous the bestest in this new venture (the bed bug thing kind of had me a squeemish though)

rottrover said...

Oh Bert, We think you're a natural. Go for it!!

-Bart and Ruby

Kolchak Puggle said...

We want to wish you and your Vicki ll the best in your semi-retirement. Search & Rescue is a great doggy job to have but therapy work is so rewarding too. You will be GREAT!

K-Koira said...

Sounds like this change will be a great one for both of you

Amber DaWeenie said...

Bert, you and Vickie have picked the purrfect road to go down. We are so proud of you!


Sheila and Bob said...

Bert, You no doubt have been a wonderful therapy dog in the past and moving on to hospitals will be so beneficial to so many.
Keep Up The Good Work

Sheila & Bob
Hamish, Rescue Sophie & Foster Tucker

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

A Good Road? A Good Road Bert? We think it is the Best Road in the World! Boy oh boy you are going to make some people so happy. Well done Bert and your Vickie. This sounds absolutely wonderful. Good luck with your new venture.
No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

Charlotte said...

I wanna say the same things like Stella and Rory. I'm speechless - you are the best therapist in the whole universe!
I love and adore you every day more and more!
Sealed with a kiss Charlotte

Molly the Airedale said...

We think you and Your Vicky are a wonderful team no matter which direction you choose to go in!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Dexter said...

Hey Bert! I think therapy dog is a great second career for you. Just think how happy those humans will be when they see your big old snooter coming down the hall. Just being able to touch your golden furs will help them get better no doubt.


Tama-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

We cannot think of anything more wonderful for somebody who is not feeling well than to have you lying next to them, Bert!


PS: The Chans think you need to come over here for some kitty training...

Finn said...

What a wonderful path it is! You are just so loveable and I am sure you are going to make a huge difference in people's lives.

2browndawgs said...

Best of luck to you Bert. The new program sounds just wonderful.

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

OH BERT... this is just PAWfect fur you!!! SIGH You will make the patients feel SOOOOOOO much better..

I know that I love to go to nursing homes butt there are Many of us doing THAT.. Not all of us have the Skill and Training to actually go into HOSPITALS. You will be bringing so many healing VIBES to the ones who need it there.
PeeS... Your Bed Bug training just MAY come in handy too... judging from what we just heard about in Two Columbus Hospitals recently!!!
I am so VERY VERY much PROUD of You and Your Vickie!!! And I am PROUD to call you my furend! SIGH

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

PeeS.... I just wanted to say (again) that Allred.. kinda SCARES me.

How Sam Sees It said...

When my Dad was in the hospital it meant so much for him to receive doggie visits - especially from Golden's - his favorite breed. I think a smile is the best reward you can have!


Ruby and Penny said...

Congratulations Bert. We hope your trial turns into full time and you continue to give love and support to the patients in the hospital.
Love Ruby & Penny
Pees - being a bed bug dog is very brave. Those things creep us out.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Bert and Vickie! I missed your post yesterday and so I got to read all the news together. I really admire that you've found a direction to take that doesn't involve bed bugs or holidays away from home! :-))) But seriously, I think you'll do wonderfully, and I really do pray that if I'm ever in an ICU or any place in a hospital, and my pups can't come, there will be someone like you to come and visit me to lift my spirits!!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Sounds like an excellent new direction!

FiveSibesMom said...

Hoppin' over from the Blog so happy in the photo with the nurse! You sure do love your work. Change is not an easy thing, but sometimes it is a really good thing! Best wishes on your new adventures! Come by and visit us some time!

NCmountainwoman said...

What wonderful work! I know that you will help others immensely in the healing process.

You are such an intelligent dog Bert, and I admire your efforts to mentor the evil devil satan cat. But I do think you are a little bit naive in thinking that Allred will change one whit.

GOOSE said...

Bert this is your God given gift. To bring peace, comfort, love and healing. Yep Yep you are following your calling.
I would however like to request that if my MOM and me get lost in the back country that you will come and find us. I'll be wearing my blue bandanna to make it easier.
I'm glad you're my friend Bert.
Blessings to you and Your Vickie!

julee said...

Hi Bert, thanks for visiting my blog. You are so darn handsome, and from what I'm reading - smart and compassionate. It's good to know you.

Boondocks Love Shack Pack said...

We think being therapy dogs is one of the smallest things that makes the biggest difference. :-)

Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack


You are lucky to be a therapy dog. When Deacon and I would visit the Grand Paw in the nursing home, we were a big hit. People just loved to see a collie and talk to dog Dad.


houndstooth said...

I retired from racing and became a therapy dog. It's a good second job, in my opinion! Everybody is always happy to see you when you're on the job!


Scooter said...

Hey Bert!
Wow, you and your Vickie are such super, amazing spirits. I think it's wonderful that you're sharing your love and kindness this way now. Those peeps will remember and appreciate you furever.
Grr and Woof,
Sarge, COP

The Army of Four said...

That sounds like a great road, my friend!

Backcountry Brodie said...

I say it always be good to try something different coz you can get burned out doing the same thing furefer.