I received the most wonderful news this week. Wookie gets to come to work with me! He now has a bed in my office again, but this time is a little different…
My previous roles were corporate (one was onsite and the other was remote). So, I have only seen him interact in that type of environment. He always stayed at my desk (under my feet). He didn’t explore outside of my office, he didn’t even greet people that came into my office. This new environment is a facility with patients. I was a little apprehensive about his response to that. He is very kind, patient, and sweet, but he still has some “puppy” left in him so I was afraid that he might jump on someone. He is only 10 pounds, which isn’t much, but it is enough to cause an issue with someone that has an unsteady gait. I was also anxious about his response to the patient’s themselves.
He went with me for the first time yesterday. Can I tell you what a joyful experience it was? I was not prepared for his response to the patients, or the patients response to him. He is usually a little apprehensive to be in new environments, but he walked right into this facility and went door by door, office by office to greet everyone. He did it in a slow, methodical way spending a little bit of time with each person, letting them pet him, listening to them “coo” and tell him how cute he was, and then he would move on to the next one. It was like he was meant for this. He was in his element.
I saw smiles and joy on faces of patients that I had not seen since being here. I saw hope. One patient in particular has dementia and spends much of his day frustrated. I will never forget his facial expression when he saw Wookie. It evolved into absolute happiness and he said “What have you got there?” in a voice that is used when referencing a newborn baby. He rubbed on Wookie while he told me all about the special dogs that he had had in his life. He calls him “Mutzy” every time that he sees him, but Wookie doesn’t mind at all. He goes right to him with his gentle spirit. They seem to have created a bond.
Can I tell you about the power of hope? Hope reduces feelings of helplessness, increases happiness, reduces stress, and improves the quality of life. ALL of these things are essential in the healing process. I saw hope in the faces of patients that are angry, lonely, and down in spirit. I also saw hope in the faces and actions of the tired, worn out staff. They all had an extra bounce in their step and smile on their face when they would see him in the hall.
Wookie was exhausted after his first day at work. I can’t wait to take him again tomorrow and I know he will be excited to go as well. I never even considered him having a purpose in this journey, but now I can see it…. He no longer has to wash the windows of the camper with his tongue every day (that is a picture that I should share with you sometime).