Well, silly little Mariah was a hit at the nursing home. Both Jess and I worried a bit about how she would handle the situation, with wheel chairs & walkers & crutches & canes, unusual noises, strange smells & sounds, and lots of strangers. We needn't have worried, she handled it like a pro. I'm including a couple of stories courtesy of Jess & Don, who took her along on a visit to see Don's father.
"WOW! What an awesome hour. Don and I took took Mariah over to the nursing home & at 4 months, Mariah was FANTASTIC!! I wish I had photos. Jim was having a bad day and his face lit up when Mariah was on the bed. She just laid down next to him and he stroked her ears. She gave him lots of kisses, didn't move. Still makes me smile. She so good with everything and everyone. She can come back anytime."
"I was just so impressed with how good she was. We also met a couple of people in wheelchairs and walkers and Mariah just shined. I will smile all evening. Just seeing her with Jim earned awwws from Don, his mom and sister-in-law."
"Don just told me another story about Mariah's adventure. He took her for a walk around the building and stopped to talk to a gal in her 30's.... The gal was hugging Mariah and was asking questions, including her name. When Don told the gal, she had him repeat it and he said Mariah. All the color drained from her face and she got all teary. Her daughter's name was Mariah and she died from cancer last year. The gal sat on the floor and Mariah climbed in her lap and covered her with kisses. I think Don learned the meaning of "special" dog. Good girl, Mariah."
When Jess posted these stories to Facebook, several of our friends responded with the following stories . . .
"We were at a show one time and there was a mom pushing a wheel chair with a severely handicapped child in it. The child wanted so bad to pet our dog Marshall. Marshall climbed right up in the chair with the boy and hugged him. The mom asked his name and she cried when I said Marshall. The boy's name was Marshall too. We stayed there for a LONG time letting the boy pet him. I will always remember that."
"We had a similar experience. We were at a festival with Indy (in her young very-spirited uncontrollable time) and I could see a handicapped 20-something young man who spied here and kept mouthing the words "pet the puppy". Well Indy saw him and headed right for him with her focus only on him, just cuddled up to him and was such a charmer the young man started crying. Even his parents cried. I will never forget how each of them was so gentle with the other. They spoke without words. We still tear up when we think of it."
And THAT, my friends, is just one of the reasons we love our dogs.