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Archive for Conversations with Shelby

Shelby let us join her on her rounds at Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa yesterday.

We started on the second floor waiting rooms for critical and intensive care patients. We met 4 different families yesterday, some had been at the hospital for 24 hours. Sometimes we have great conversations with the families, sometimes they pet and talk to Shelby. We spent more than an hour visiting those 2 waiting rooms. One lady sat on the floor with Shelby and talked about her friend that was in surgery. Her dog bit her friend and you could see in her eyes how concerned she was for the both of them.

After we left the waiting rooms we went to the 3rd floor, pediatric ward. We visited 6 kids along with their brothers and sisters. One the kids was about 18 months old and just had a ball with Shelby. Big grin, giggles, everyone in the room had a big smile on their face. We moved to the next room and both of the girls recognized Shelby from a prior visit. Not only were they friends, they also were in the hospital at the same time. One of the girls told us she wondered how Shelby was and what she was up to. The second girl had an oxygen mask on and wasn’t supposed to be talking so her friend told us that after Shelby’s previous visit, she wanted a dog of her own. Turns out she couldn’t have a dog, so she bought a big stuffed Golden Retriever…and named her Shelby!

Both Cindi and I were speechless, stunned, proud and humbled. I told her that’s about the nicest thing I’ve heard in a quite a while and thanked her. I teared up a bit and continued on with the visit.

We were at the hospital for about 3 hours and then on to Five Guys for peanuts, cheeseburgers and fries. When we got home Shelby jumped on her couch and fell asleep. As she was sleeping I looked at her and thought how blessed we are that she came to live with us.

under: Conversations with Shelby

What we’ve been up to

Posted by: | September 23, 2012 | 8 Comments |

We haven’t blogged lately ‘cause we’ve been really busy!

Shelby has been awarded her Therapy Dog title by the AKC. In order to qualify, she needed to visit Memorial Hospital 50 times on behalf of Paws for Healing in Napa. It took us a bit over 2 years but we completed the 50 visits in August.

In honor of a very special gift from Diane and John, parents of Bernard Bin Laden and Linda, and, the completion of her AKC Therapy Dog title, Shelby has new ride! After an exhaustive search, we found a pink wagon and added a few custom accessories.

First, her front vanity plate is the gift from Diane and John, it’s from a photo that John took and it’s our favorite Shelby photo!

Next, the placards on the side are keeping with the pink and white colors and accessories with some pink roses. 

 The rear license plate is the much desired California “Black Tag” plate.  You can see the “AKC” in the upper left hand corner, “Therapy Dog” above her name. And, “CGC” in the upper right hand corner for her “Canine Good Citizen” title.

Shelby is also styling with her new harness and accessorized with a lovely green and pink flower with matching leash.

More good news, Shelby, Cindi and I were asked to be the liaison for Paws for Healing, PFH, to Memorial Hospital. Besides being the contact between PFH and Memorial, we will also be the trainers for future therapy teams for Memorial. When a prospective PFH team wants to see what we do during a visit, the human part of the team will accompany us on one of our visits. They will be able to see what we believe Shelby was put here to do, to bring joy and comfort to those she visits.

After their visit, if they decide they want to pursue the training, Cindi and I will accompany them and their dog partner on the next visit. We are excited about this new opportunity to help others share in the amazing “power of dog”… And it’s her 6TH birthday on October 15!

We are so blessed that Shelby chose us to share in her life, we’re having a ball!

 The maid and chauffeur


under: Conversations with Shelby

Shelby, thank you…

Posted by: | June 26, 2011 | 10 Comments |

Today we accompanied the Petite Princess on her rounds at the Hospital.

Shelby led us through our usual stops, admissions, the information desk, intensive and critical care waiting area’s, so we would be warmed up for a couple of people she would lead us to meet.

We knocked on this gentleman’s door and asked if he would like a visit with a dog?  He certainly would he says, so we roll in and Shelby turns on the charm. As we chatted, he said he was 94 years old and moved to Sonoma County to be near his son and his family. As he was talking with us, Cindi asked where he was from, he mentioned a country in Europe and said he immigrated to the US in 1947. We said, Wow, that was right after World War 2. He told us he was a Holocaust Survivor.

As the power of that statement sank in, he said he attended college in his new home, America, and went on to have a successful career. With a smile on his face he told us how great America is and how there no other place in the world like it. He told us he doesn’t want to remember his time before he came to America.

We talked about dogs and family and how much he enjoyed Golden Retrievers. If I live to be 94 I hope I have half of his vitality and spunk. We said our goodbye’s and Shelby gave him one of her autographed photo’s and we were on our way.

We met an older lady who told us the story about a dog and her father. Daisy was the dogs name and she would go with her father to his workshop everyday and take her place next to his work bench. He created a space on the shelf so Daisy could watch over everything he did during the day. She said her dad would talk to Daisy as he worked and Daisy gave his every word the attention it deserved.

When her father died, Daisy followed him 3 weeks later. With tears in her eye’s, she told me how they wrapped Daisy in her fathers work apron and buried her next to her father. She told me how much her dad loved that dog and she knows Daisy died of a broken heart. 

With everything that’s on the news about how our great country is stumbling, taking wrong turns, and she is not what she once was, I needed to be reminded of what a wonderful place we live in and how there really is no other place on earth that’s like it. I also treasure the ability that Shelby has that lets people remember wonderful times in their lives and how very special the relationship between a man and his dog can be. 

Shelby, thanks again for taking the time to teach me life lessons

under: Conversations with Shelby

The power of “dog”

Posted by: | December 19, 2010 | 9 Comments |

Cindi and I escorted the Petite Princess to Memorial Hospital yesterday afternoon. We had one very special patiant to see before our visit would end.

We always start our visits by seeing the ladies in the admissions offices. They told us the hospital was pretty full so there will a lot of folks that could use a visit. We met and made 2 new friends before moving on to the second floor waiting rooms.  

In the critical care waiting room we met a mom who was waiting for her son to come out of surgery, Shelby lept up on the couch and laid down next to the mom and helped pass the time. After about 10 minutes Shelby jumped back into to her wagon and we made our way to the other side of the hospital.

We had been advised that a young woman around 20 years old had been struck by a car and had a brain injury. They let us know that she had responded well to other dogs that had come to visit her. This young lady who we’ll call “Amy”, was the main reason for our visit today.

When you do any kind of pet assited therapy one of the key factors to a successful visit is to monitor your dogs stress level. Before we visited Amy we wanted Shelby to be warmed up and ready to go. Cindi and I talked about the best way to approach the visit. We decided if at all possible we would get a chair so we could sit right next to Amy’s bed and I could sit Shelby on my lap so her head and front leg would be on the bed while I’d support her weight.  If we couldn’t do that, I would need to hold Shelby while we visited Amy. Holding Shelby while we visit is the last thing I wanted to do. Even thought she is is the Petite Princess, after a few minutes she doesn’t feel very petite!

As we walked up to Amy’s room, we saw an empty chair and the side of her bed was open, we had total access for a comfortable visit. We walked in and were greeted by Amy’s mom, aunt and sister. Shelby and I sat down next to the bed, I introduced myself and Shelby to Amy and as soon as Shelby got settled next to Amy, she reached out and started to stroke Shelby’s head.  The camera phone’s came out and everyone started taking pictures! I was watching Amy’s eyes and continued to talk with her while Cindi was chatting with the mom, aunt and sister.

We had been told that Amy responded well to dogs that had visited her before, but I was still blown away by how quickly and deliberatly Amy had reached out for Shelby. We visited with Amy for about 5 minutes or so when she fell back to sleep. Her mom apologized because she couldn’t stay awake longer. I assured her the best I could that we were happy to be able to visit her no matter how long or brief the visit was.

“Amy” is being moved to another hospital on Monday where we are not cleared to visit. Amy’s mom was adament about wanting the dog visits to continue. We told her when they get to the new hospital to tell them she wanted dog visits and the hospital would do everything they could to make it happen.

We had a total of 8 visits yesterday. Everyone of those visits was magical. The patients and their families enjoyed Shelby and we enjoyed spending a few minutes with them. We saw a family we had met 4 months ago,  their dad would be going home this Wednesday. Almost everyone we visited would be able to spend Christmas at home.  

Shelby put in a 2 hour day and brought a lot of joy to folks. We met and made new friends and it’s always so nice when you hear the nurses and doctors say, Oh boy, Shelby’s here!  We also passed out an autographed picture of the Petite Princess that John, Maximutt’s dad, had taken. Without fail, that new photo brought a smile or chuckle to everyone when they saw the new picture!

We have said it before and we’ll say it again, we firmly believe in the “Power of Dog.”

under: Conversations with Shelby

Good friends

Posted by: | November 27, 2010 | 4 Comments |

I got to spend some time with 5 of my best friends yesterday.

We haven’t been able to go to the last two Nor Cal Tripawd Parties and I have missed Cemil, Tani, Obie, Mary and Karen a whole bunch. So yesterday we hopped in the truck and the chauffeur drove me to Karen’s house in Livermore. It felt so good to see my friends again!

 As soon as we pulled up Karen and the pugs came out to great us! I was so happy to see Tani and Obie. Last time I saw Obie his eye was giving him some trouble, but he looks great now. He is really fitting in his new home and he and Tani get along just great and you can tell he really likes his new family! By the way…Tani and Obie have the best stocked toy box I have ever seen! (On the way to the truck, I mentioned to the chauffeur that they had a ton more toys than I have!)

No sooner had we walked into the house, Mary and Cemil arrived. Cemil is such a gentle giant! and sweet as the day is long!  Mary said Cemil’s 22 month ampuversary is coming up really soon!  Cemil was in such a great mood yesterday, he had a big ‘ol smile on his face and as always, a perfect gentledog!

The maid, chauffeur, Karen and Mary sat down at the table and had lunch, a long lunch. They were catching up on how everyone has been and we told Karen that we would be thinking good thoughts for her on December 2ND. She is going to have othoscotpic, othrospoptic, othraspredic, otho..something or the other type of surgery on her shoulder and we felt if she knew we were pulling for her, the surgery would go just fine. Mary told us about the new chicken coop she’s building in her back yard. The chauffeur said it sounded nicer than the house he and the maid first house. 

Tani and Obie let me play with their toys and they showed me how to use their doggie door to get to the backyard. That was very cool! Cemil couldn’t fit through the doggy door so they let him into the back yard through the people door. Karen has a neat back yard.  

The visit ended way to soon. It took them 20 minutes to clean up and put away all the toys I had been playing with. Mary told us a quicker way to get home but I didn’t stay awake long enough to find out. That’s the chauffeurs job.

The Nor Cal crew is going to have a pawty tomorrow but I can’t go because dad and I are going to visit the folks at the VA Hospital.

I learned a life-lesson yesterday, make it a point to see your friends as often as you can and make sure they know you care about them. Days pass very quickly and you don’t want to lose touch with friends that add so much to your life.  And to everypawdy going to the pawty tomorrow, we’ll be with you in spirit.  

Your friend, Shelby, the P.P.

under: Conversations with Shelby

We were invited to Monroe Elementary School in Santa Rosa last Thursday evening for “Family Literacy Night.”

There were 5 reading dog teams set up and ready to go. There were 2 Golden’s, a yellow Lab, a white Maltese and 2 Chihuahua’s. Dad told the lady with the 2 Chihuahua’s that we had cats bigger than her dogs. Sometimes he embarrasses me. So we had all sizes and types of dogs. At 5:30 the doors opened and a lot of families came in. We had to be on our best behavior because the schools principal and a reading specialist were there and they were really watching us because they had never had reading dogs teams in their school before. Mom warned dad to be on his best behavior or he might end up in the principals office again!  I guess when dad was going to school he was in the principals office so much that they were on a first name basis! 

Mom was one of the 3 people signing up the kids that wanted to read to us. We had 50 kids sign up to read to the dogs! How cool was that! The reading dog teams were really busy for the 1 hour that we were there. The kids enjoyed it so much that some of them signed up for a second turn to read to us!  

The reading specialist sent a note to us saying that our reading dog teams were a huge hit! They commented on how nice we all were and how nobody growled at each other. I think I heard dad growl a couple of time, but that didn’t count. She also said, they now want reading dog teams in their school!

I’m proud of the group of dogs and their handlers that I get to work with. We always have a good time and hopefully we are helping the kids read better. When you can read, you can go anywhere and be anybody you want.

under: Conversations with Shelby

Happy Birthday to…ME!!!!!!!

Posted by: | October 17, 2010 | 11 Comments |

October 15th is my birthday.

Mom and dad got up Friday, the 15th, got ready and went to work, nothing, nobody said anything about my birthday. They came home, fixed dinner, took Charlie to the laundry cause he had to work Saturday. It’s his regular gig at the Healdsburg Library. No one said anything about my birthday.

So, I decided I would mope around until someone, anyone, said something about my birthday. Heavy sighs, the over the shoulder, poor, poor pitiful me looks. I tried everything. We went to bed Friday evening and nothing was said about my birthday.

Saturday morning came and as they were getting ready to take Charlie to his reading dog gig, dad said, “I think it’s pretty close to someones birthday!” I was so happy someone finally said something about my birthday that I gave him a big hug and a couple of Tripawd Twirls and guess what! They left me at home with Penny! It’s the day after my birthday, they leave me at home and take Charlie somewhere!

 Fine, see if I care! I’ll show them. I’ll ignore them when they get home, I’ll show them! About 2 hours later they came home and told Charlie how very proud they were of him and what a good boy he had been, and here Charlie, here’s a sprecial treat just for you!

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw dad reach over and grab my red harness and leash, and announce, “we’re taking the birthday girl to In and Out Burger!”  I started twirling and dancing and heading for the front door!  Dad opened the door to the truck and I lept onto the seat and waited what seemed like forever for them to start the engine and get this show on the road!!

We pulled into the parking lot next door to the In and Out Burger store and as soon as dad stopped the truck. I ran as fast as my 3 legs and the chauffeur could go! We found a table outside and I sat with dad while mom went inside and ordered my special birthday dinner! A lady nearby asked if she could give me a french fry? Dad told her we’re celebrating my birthday, so you bet, she can have a fry!  Mom came out and told me they had made a special hamburger for my special day! No bun, just burger!

We sat there and ate burgers and fries for what seemed like hours! People would come over and pet me and tell my what a good girl and how pretty I was, all while I was eating my special burger and fries with mom and dad!

What a day! What a burger! Wow, I had a great 4th birthday! I wish my friends who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge,  Caira Sue, Maximutt, Maggie and Cherry, could have been there. I had a fry for each of you. Cemil, Tani and Obie, I had a fry for you. To my Tripawd friends I’ve never met, I had fries for you too!

Burgers, fries, memories of friends passed and celebrating my friends still here, with my mom and dad, I’m the worlds luckiest Princess!

under: Conversations with Shelby

We arrived at the capital building and as we were saying hi to some of our new friends, Andrea from Homeward Bound came over and asked us to follow her because she wanted to put Shelby on live TV!  

30 seconds later the reporter walked over to us and BAM we are on LIVE TV!!!!!!!

Shelby did great, I…duh…fumbled and stammered and said something. Isn’t it amazing how you mind goes blank when the pressure is on. I had my Golden Retreiver missing a front leg TRIPAWDS shirt on but you gotta look quick cause they zipped by me and went right to the “”STAR””

Here’s the link to the TV spot and a photo of the entire group.    you’ll need to click on “Golden Retreiver Photo Shoot”

under: Conversations with Shelby

Sacramento and Me

Posted by: | September 29, 2010 | 8 Comments |

Here is a note we received from Homeward Bound.

“Bring Your Homeward Bound Dogs and Help Us Shine a Spotlight on Homeward Bound!  Photograph on The East Capitol steps…  Saturday, October 2nd
Arrival Time: 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM
Media Interviews: 9:00 AM to 9:40 AM
Live TV and Photo Opportunity: 9:45 AM
We need you, your family and your Homeward Bound dogs to join hundreds of other Sacramento area families who have adopted Goldens from Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue (HBGRR) for a photo opportunity and live television shot. The theme of the event is:
Even in these tough times…
California is still “The Golden State!”

This photo opportunity will be a major media event designed to draw media attention to the over 800 Golden Retrievers and other dogs that are rescued and placed each year by HBGRR. All adoptive families and their dogs will be staged as one big group on the East Steps of the Capitol under a banner displaying the event’s theme. The official photograph will be taken at 9:45 AM. The wire services, local newspapers and all Sacramento area TV and radio stations will be invited to cover this historic event and publish the official photo.”

 Well….. The Petite Princess has let it be known that she feels the need to attend this exciting event!
So, we’ll polish up her wagon, shine up her black harness with “bling” and do the best we can to get a little free TRIPAWD coverage!
The maid and I will either be wearing our HI VIZ green TRIPAWDS shirts or our new Golden Retriever front leg missing TRIPAWDS shirts.  
Shelby, the P.P. asked that we carry boxes of red Sharpies. Ever since she was informed that Marilyn Monroe signed her autographs in red, Shelby has decided to do the same. 
Take care and we’ll do our best to make you proud of us!     
the chauffeur
under: Conversations with Shelby

Took the Princess to the vet

Posted by: | August 11, 2010 | 8 Comments |

Howdy, we took Shelby to the vet a couple of weeks ago to see about pulling a lower canine tooth that looked bad. The tooth never had any enamel on it. The vet said she most likely was born that way. As the vet was checking here over and looking at her other teeth he found something he didn’t see on her earlier exams. He found that her upper right jaw had been fractured/broken at one time and as it healed the bone grew around one of her molars. She had 1 cracked tooth, 1 broken tooth and an impacted tooth that needed to come out.

We set up the appointment and Cindi took her in at 8AM last Friday morning. They took a full set of xrays of her teeth and found the canine tooth that we were originally concerned with was just fine. The root was in good shape so he left that one but took the tooth next to it. So she had 4 teeth pulled that day. They took really great care of her at the hospital and called over the weekend to make sure everything was alright. Friday night and most of Saturday was a sleepy, relaxing time for the Princess. We all know how much she loves her kibbles and her biscuits, but no hard food for a week. By Sunday she was almost back to normal and now she’s back to creating havoc and running amok. She goes back a week from Friday and they’ll check her over and deal with stitches

I could deal with the teeth being cracked and broken, what made my stomach turn was that her upper jaw had been broken. Our dogs have suffered and been through so much, but thinking of how hard she must have been hit to break her top jaw was a bit more than I could deal with. I really didn’t to well at work last Friday, I was worried about her. I knew the Doctor and his staff would take excellent care of her, I just hated that she had to go through more pain.

Once again she reminds me to take what life gives you and do the best you can with it. Whining or complaining does no good but things go a whole lot better if you smile and do what you know how to do. Over time things will return to “normal”, like getting to eat her kibbles and biscuits, and knowing that you’ve dealt with and made it though another bump in your life, makes it sweeter.

Thank you Shelby for reminding me that today is the time to enjoy what you have and give the one’s you love an extra hug.

under: Conversations with Shelby

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