October 9, 2012
Hi Brothers and Sisters. I go with my mom to the church where she works and do therapy (unofficially) and ask for food until it is time to go to the hospital to therapize the poor sick kids, who often have food too. All that to say, the staff at the church all know and love me – what’s not to love! Knowing this, it came as no surprise that I was asked to come to Sunday school to visit with the kids on the Sunday they celebrated St. Francis of Assisi (patron Saint of animals, for all you unchurched canines out there).
Out in the hallway before the class started, one girl screeched when she saw me. I would like to think it was with delight, but it sounded more like fear. She smelled like fear, too. Then we all went into the classroom and there were six or seven kids – math isn’t my strong point so it might have been more – who all sat in a circle on the floor with a few grown-ups, including my mom. The girl who screeched was given a chair to sit in and one of my church friends, Mary Gardner, said it was so she would be more comfortable with her dress. I knew Mary Gardner was just being nice, because I knew the fear girl was up in that chair so that she didn’t have to be too close to the source of her fear – me! Well, I also knew just what to do – I am a therapy dog, after all, duh. First, I walked around the inside of the circle, checking out everybody. No one had any food, by the way. When I got to the fear girl I just kept going and didn’t stop to say hi. I could tell she was watching me, though, and starting to get curious. Then I made a second round, stopping again to let everyone pet me, and this time I stopped next to the fear girl but didn’t look at her. That can be intimidating, you know, when you are scared of someone and they look at you. When she reached out and touched me I knew I was making progress. I thought, well, one more time ought to do it. So there I went again, stopping to see everyone in the circle, and this time I stopped and looked at the fear girl and most of the smell of fear was gone. I tried to tell her it was ok, I wouldn’t hurt her, and she must have understood because she reached out and pet me real nice. My work here is done.
Lexi the Church Dog