I started my month at Walter Reed (WRNMMC). I went room to room and I got to meet some very special children. One little boy had Popsicle on his mouth and I had to try very hard not to lick it off his face. We visited a surgery ward and the anti-partum area where women wait to have their babies. The patients in anti-partum are very very cuddly! I just loved visiting them there!
I visited the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) this month and there were so many dogs that I could hardly find a human to visit with! Towards the end of my visit I met a Veteran who came down to the lobby to check the weather for the day. He stopped to see what was going on with all the dogs. He petted me as I laid my head on his lap while he sat in his wheelchair. Christen handed him my card. He flipped it over and read about how I got my name. (For those of you who do not know, I have a very special name because I was named after the Veteran Calvin Leon Graham. He was the youngest U.S. service member to serve in WWII at the age of twelve.)
The older Veteran then turned and looked at Christen and said, “I met him… He came to my lab! I drew his blood and I remember his case.” Christen looked so surprised. She shook his hand and thanked him, for what he didn’t seem to understand. You see, my humans have never gotten to meet the family of human Calvin Graham, and so when they met someone who had actually known him from such a long time ago they were so very honored and happy. Not realizing the shock my humans were in at the information he just gave, he went on to tell them about how he used to have shelties and how one lived till 18 years old! I have to tell you, this was one of the most magical visits we have ever had at AFRH.
I had my first visit at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington this month! I had a blast! This was the first time I got to put my Animal Assisted Therapy skills to work! I got to work with a Veteran named Bobby (one of the Hero Dogs is named after him) and several other residents. Bobby had a nice lady help him stay active and awake so he would throw the ball for me to go get it. It was so much fun! My good Hero Dogs friend Teddy was there and he showed me what to do. It was sooo hot in there! I drank several bowls full of water! What a workout!
I had my 50th therapy dog visit this month at Walter Reed! I can’t believe I have visited AFRH, the USO at Walter Reed, and the Walter Reed hospital 50 times! Boy time flies! I just love my job! I entered all my paperwork (well, Christen did because she is often my personal office manager) and a couple of weeks later I received my very own AKC therapy dog patch and certificate! I am now officially Hero Dogs Calvin Leon Graham THD CGC! Can you believe that?!?! I was hoping they would send a cookie in the mail, too, but no luck.
At therapy dog class this month I met Hero Dogs Clara. She is a yellow like me! Ruby’s puppy raiser is raising her so I know she will do a great job! (Also, I hope she gets some of Ruby’s good looks!) At class we practiced greeting people in a walker by resting our head on the walker.
Hero Dogs class this month was so much fun! A bunch of other animals came to meet us! I got to meet, sniff, and then “Leave It” with Snickers (Ms. Becca’s bunny), Orange Cat (that’s the kitty’s full name), Hamsty the Hamster, Clara the HD puppy, and finally I got to see my good friends from James and Jessica’s house, Homie and Idgie the pigeons and Dundee the cockatiel. I did very well greeting all the other animals and then walking politely around them and ignoring them when asked. I don’t really have a prey drive… I just like to sniff a lot and make friends with everyone! I was really interested in the treat that Ruby spit into Snickers the bunny’s cage. That was the most distracting part. I was so happy when I went over towards Dundee the cockatiel’s cage and he called me a “pretty bird!” I think that means he likes me and remembers me. According to Dundee I am an honorary pretty bird!
For St. Patrick’s Day I got a really yummy treat of frozen peas mashed into the shape of a bone! It was so yummy… and GREEN!
A pair of my Grandparents came back from a place called Peru! They brought my humans some presents and they thought it would just be sooo funny if I modeled them! I really, really wanted to have the stuffed llama toy, but Christen said it was not mine to play with. It smelled very funny too!
Not too long after that we celebrated BUNNY DAY! …I think they also called it Easter? But boy it seems like BUNNY DAY to me! On bunny day I got a basket with three brightly colored tennis balls that squeaked and a white stuffed bunny! I was sooo happy! This was the best day ever!
We met up with Hero Dogs Grant and Teddy at another visit to Walter Reed (WRNMMC) later in the month. It was great to see them there and then get to work together! We were like “The A-Team,” I tell ya! The three best dogs that anyone could have! The three amigos! After a long day of ‘therapy doggin’ we paraded around like puppy superheroes and took an epic photo out front of Walter Reed. It was so much fun. Maybe next month we’ll get to do it again!