Thursday, November 6, 2008

In Which Lily Gets a Job

Tonight I attended the orientation meeting for the local hospice chapter and met a few nice ladies (all younger than me) who are also considering volunteer work. According to the volunteer coordinator, the maximum hours per week they will let someone volunteer is 4, so this will fit in nicely with work, school, church, and friends. As I found out, one of the areas of greatest need right now is for HosPets. These are pets who are taken along with the volunteer to visit the patients either in their homes or in one of the inpatient facilities. Lily will be perfect for it. (Bodhi? Not so much...not for a few years anyway).

There is much to do before the actual work begins. First I have to interview with the coordinator, which is about a 15 minute event, and then I'll have to arrange for an orientation with Wags for Hope, the local non-profit organization that assesses and trains the pets who will be involved in HosPets. The basic requirements are that the dog must be kept clean, be healthy and up to date on immunization, and be well controlled by the owner. The owner must also attend both the hospice training and the Wags for Hope training. Since hospice training won't happen until February, I have plenty of time to get Lily assessed and approved and get my own health checks done (including an MMR booster).

I can't tell you how excited I am at the prospect of both getting to share my love and compassion with my fellow humans but also getting to do so with my favorite girl by my side. Lily is the most gentle, sweet, and loving dog I've ever had. Though she started out being our daughter's 17th birthday present, she eventually became our dog and stayed with us after the Girl moved out. She's as good with strangers as she is with us, too, which makes her perfect for the job.

If you need hospice services for yourself or a loved one, or if you want to find out how to donate and/or volunteer, you can visit the Hospice Foundation website for more information.

Speaking of love, Lavinia awarded me this beautiful award on her blog today. Don't you just love it? I'm so honored, Lavinia. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'll be adding this to my Bling wall and considering on whom I wish to bestow it next.

And the Pay it Forward contest I ran was a little more complicated than I thought because of some commenters who turned down the prize for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, we have three winners! I will be shopping for some uniquely Maryland items this weekend and then shipping them off. Watch their blogs, then, for their own Pay it Forward contest once they receive the goods. There is nothing like having something a little tangible to connect us to our blog friends. And it's always cool to get a present in the mail for no good reason!

Our 3 winners are:
Ruth D~ (Upstream and Down)
Heather (aka Coal Miner's Granddaughter)
Michelle (aka Not Afraid to Use It)

Peace - D


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

how do you manage to write such diverse posts...moannie does this too..l always think mines a tad self indulgent, but then they are our blogs and what do l know most about...
sorry lve been a bit quiet....l've been having a bad few weeks on so many levels!!
l must try harder!!

btw in your you have a look abut you new avatar, there is a whiff of Joan Cusack about you, zany, good looks, thoughtful and strength!! enough flannel??


Moannie said...

It's true, dogs are great healers of the soul.
You do so much for others you put me to shame.

RiverPoet said...

FFF - Funny, but you aren't the first one who has compare my new look to that of Joan Cusack. Now, if I just had her comedic talent! Good to see you around here, and keep blogging. In the beginning I did a lot of introspective posts, too. Eventually other things begin to creep in.

Moannie - I never feel that I'm doing enough, but I feel like I have to give back wherever I can. I've been given so much....

Peace - D

Marty said...

Sounds like you would be wonderful company with Lily in tow... and congrats on the award too!

Celebration of Life said...

Hospice is a wonderful organization to volunteer for; you and Lily will do great!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Come back soon!

Cloudia said...

Oh how wonderful! Such a great doggy too. I loved playing my flute for hospice guests (patients) and staff......You GO!
Yeah all younger, except OLD people, strange . . .
Aloha from Waikiki-

Burgh Baby said...

I have wanted to take a dog to a nursing home or children's hospital for a loooong time, but neither Jasmine nor Meg were cut out for that sort of thing. I might finally get it with Cody, though, so hopefully I'll get to follow in your footsteps.

For as much of a pain in the booty Bulldogs can be, they sure are cute. Especially in that pic!

jay said...

Oh, good for you and Lily! You'll both love it! As you know, The Princess is a therapy dog. It's very rewarding - and humbling, too, because you can see how simply touching a dog's fur and feeling their warmth can brighten someone's day to an extent that we more fortunate souls can forget.

Seeing The Princess lying down with her body pressed against the side of a very disabled, deaf-blind girl on her last visit .. well, it made me realise once again how lucky I am, aches, pains, damaged shoulder, fibromyalgia and all.

Oh, and I can see the Joan Cusack thing too! I love her - such a great comedy actress!

Hilary said...

Very cool. That cute face will be hard to resist.. Lily's - not Joan's. ;)

SandyCarlson said...

I have a friend who does this work, and she is a source of comfort and joy with her pooch wherever she goes. Angelic magic, to be sure. Best of luck!

Akelamalu said...

How fantastic that you can take Lily with you to your volunteer work!

Congratulations to the winners of your competition. :)

CharmCityChica said...

Hello there! So nice to see another blogger from Maryland.

RiverPoet said...

Marty - Thank you! I hope to be good company to the patients and families, for certain.

Jo - I definitely will keep up with you. You have a great story.

Cloudia - Aloha! Thanks for the vote of support. I know the patients must have loved listening to you play flute for them.

Burgh Baby - Yes, they are stubborn dogs, but they are big cuddle-puffs, too. I hope your Cody is finally the right dog for the job. I am very much looking forward to doing this with Lily.

Jay - It's wonderful that Princess also serves people. I can imagine what a joy it is to share her love with others - for her and for you!

Hilary - :-) Lily charms people wherever she goes. She has such a gentle face and disposition, and her fur is unusually soft. I imagine she's going to be a big hit.

Sandy C - Yes, angelic magic is a good way to put it. Dogs communicate so much better than we do, and they do it all with no words.

Akela - I expect it is going to indeed be wonderful for us both.

CCC - Good to see another Marylander dropping by! I hope you'll be back!

Peace - D

Daryl said...

Oh this is just wonderful ..

And congrats to your winners!


RiverPoet said...

Daryl - I can't wait to share pictures of her visiting the patients. She is going to be great at this!

Peace - D