CP, you usually make me giggle and laugh with your articles and posts (in a good way!) but this one brought tears to my eyes (in a good way!).
My LTC has a facility 'pet'. We rescued him from a local kill shelter. He is the most loving, sweet dog ever! He patrols the halls looking for a wrinkled, shaky hand to pet his soft smooth coat or an arthritic leg to rest his block head on in turn acting as a heating pad for that painful joint. He's been smacked by demented pts, has had things thrown at him (and occasional his been hit by it), had his tail run over by wheelchairs, scooters and yes, I have to admit..a med cart
(that was me) and never once uttered a sound, never growled, snippped or made an indication he was going to hurt someone. When he's had enough or he feels the residents have had enough of him, he goes to the elevator door and lets out a yip. We push the button for him...press both 1 and ground..and from there he takes his ride to the floor of his choosing. He has been our 'security' when a few visitors became unruly, he's been 'attacked' and hurt by visiting dogs who are far, far smaller than he, and his been the 'safe' place a nurse can bury her face when the tears come due to a much loved residents passing.
Did I mention, our facility dog is a Pit mix?
And he was attacked and badly hurt by a visitors little fee-fee yip-yap lap dog! Our boy is a good hearted kind old soul..a former 'bait dog' with many a scar to prove it. Luckily for him he didn't have a mean bone in his body and didn't do well in his former life so he was dumped off and abandoned. He tucks his tail between his legs and cowers when an aggressive dog comes to him, or if he hears voices raised in anger. Again, never showing any indications of aggression.
He's much older than we were lead to believe (per the vet) and has some hip and leg arthritis, he's slowing down these days and needs occasional shots of cortisone for the pain, his face is almost as grey now as the resident's heads...and sadly I think the time will approach soon that we will have to 'retire' him from the facility and give him to the ADON, who has offered to be his 2nd forever home until its his time to go to his 'final' eternal home.
Thank you for this beautiful piece!