Friday, July 7, 2017

Old Gold

Meet my new Pals!

October 19, 2016; Wednesday; Dignity Foundation, Powai

So, last year December, I retired from my service as a Therapy Dog, and got a back seat to train the little pups and share my life experiences with the newbies. Since then, I have been mostly enjoying my time going out on drives with my human family, enjoying the view sitting near the windows, welcoming everyone who visited us, sharing a happy tail every time they petted me, and sometimes, even correcting my little therapy dogs, to behave like one! Ah! Retirement, what a beautiful feeling, it is!

It’s not usual to have my human trainers choose me for any of the sessions they undertake these days. So its mostly Pepe, Pearl, Sunshine, Myshka and Moshe who go along wagging their tails of joy! So happy and proud I feel to be shaping these babies into Therapy Dogs!

So I was saying, that I do not attend any sessions after my retirement, but when came an opportunity, I gladly and excitedly took it up! I winked at my baby bunch, and marched out of the house, with Aakash. Can you guess what was that I was all this excited about today? Okay, let me keep you hanging there a bit.

Aakash, my trainer and my family, chose to get me in the car today, to take me for a session. He kept it a secret from me too! So while he drove us, I started guessing it to him,
“Must be special kids that I’d be interacting with today!”, said I, full of excitement.
“Nope”, denied Aakash, as he drove.
“The airport pax?”
“Haha! No!!”
“Hmmm…who is it then?”
“Someone you’ll definitely love! You’ll soon know!”, stopped Aakash at a huge building in Powai.

My curiosity was building up all the more, as we climbed up, closer. And there we were! Voila!! It was at Dignity Foundation!! There were humans, my age!! Yayy!!

Aakash introduced the human bunch to me, and I introduced myself to them, “Hello! I am Goldie, 11 years, and 77 years in human age!” and I smiled with a wagging tail. Such a great feeling to meet humans of my age! They welcomed me with wide smiles and love! A couple of them raised their hands with joy and said we three shared the same age! Haha! What fun it is to be back to sessions! I looked up happily at Aakash, and we couldn’t keep smiles off our faces.

My new pals sat on a chair and all of us chatted for a little while.
“How is your retirement, Goldie?”, asked one of them.
“Fun and peaceful”, said a happy me.
“Who’s your favorite Therapy Dog?”
“Ummm…that’s a tricky one. Actually, I love them all”.
“Why are you sitting in one place? Why don’t you roam around like other dogs do?”
“You see, I am old now, and it’s a little difficult to keep up with everyone’s spirit”.
“Oh! Do you have joint pain, like us?”
“Oh, yes! But I play to stay fit”.

“You’re just like us!” And I smiled at them. We related to each other. The pain, the love, the age, everything. And the chat went on for sometime. We realized that we shared so many common things. But not all us was happy, some shared their bitter pasts of their children abandoning them and some lost their spouses. I could feel their sorrow, and I was determined to make them happy for the time we were together, so I shared my experiences, stories from my life and my journey. How I have seen people abandon their parents and kids, which made them sad. While we spoke of the sorrows, I spoke to them about so much that life has given us, and that we should be thankful to each of the things and the beings. Cherish your present, is something we Therapy Dogs always believe and practice. Be happier than ever, live in the moment, give others a reason to smile.

Just the way I have told every little Therapy Dogs, I told my old human pals,
  • Take care of your health,
  •  Trust people,
  •   Be loyal,
  •  Get yourself some playtime, throw-a-ball,
  • Treat age as just a number,
  • Don’t hold grudges, but welcome everyone and everyday with equal happiness and love,
  •  And most of all, Stay happy, for yourself, and for others

We bonded as we spoke, age does make people bond faster, relate faster. I realized, that even though they were in physical and emotional pain, they came down to my level, and petted me, empathized with me; since they knew I had problems in getting up each time they called me.

Oh! It’s two hours already! How time flies! It was time to greet my pals a bye for now! I really enjoyed interacting with my pals, sharing their experiences and mine, being loved and petted, and just being us! How excited was I to be back on field! J

Hoping Aakash gives me another such surprise soon, real soon J

Written by Sneha Lonkar

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