Love. That’s what this month is about. That’s what this post is about.
Lexi spent ten years of her life going the third Thursday of every month (except November, when it always fell on Thanksgiving) to T.C. Thompson’s Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga. Sometimes I took her, and every once in a while the children’s director at the church where I worked asked to take her.
As an aside, I usually visited with the quilting group at the church every Thursdays, except the third one. Lexi would always come with me, and the ladies always made a fuss over her. On one of the third Thursdays that the children’s director had taken Lexi to do her “therapizing,” an older lady asked for Lexi’s whereabouts. I told her Lexi had gone to the children’s hospital to do her “therapizing”. The lady sat very quietly for a moment, then said, “Well, I knew she’s talented, but goodness, I didn’t know she could drive.”
It didn’t really matter who took her; we were just her means of getting to where she needed to be. After receiving her first treat, she took on her demeanor as a therapy dog and it was all business…and love.
One little girl, Kennedy, was there more often than not throughout the many years we visited. We watched her grow, we watched her struggle. During one visit, we walked into Kennedy’s room, where she had her head covered, crying. Lexi jumped on the bed, and the therapy pet coordinator said, “Look who’s here, Kennedy.” She pulled the covers down and a huge smile brightened her face. She grabbed Lexi in a big hug and held her against her chest. Lexi hated being hugged, but understanding how much Kennedy needed this, just laid there, held tight without a struggle until the little girl finally released her.
Lexi also did therapy at Siskin Physical Rehab in Chattanooga. Two incidents immediately come to mind. They both happened on the same day
In the hallway before entering a rehab area, an older man stood guard. He looked down and just stared at Lexi. “I’ve never much liked dogs, been scared of them all my life. I’ve never petted any of the dogs that come here. But this one here, she’s special. May I pet her?” I picked up Lexi so he could pet her, and he continued, “I used to be a pastor, and I do believe that the good Lord sent her.”
In the room, a young man sat in a wheelchair with his therapist standing next to him. After getting his permission, I gently set Lexi in his lap. She sat there while he pet her and the rest of us visited. We usually spent about five minutes with different patients at the rehab. This time, I suddenly realized 15 minutes had passed, with Lexi pawing at the young man’s hand every time he stopped petting her. This was unusual for her. As we walked away I overheard the man’s therapist say, “That was so good! You actually moved your hand!” I will never know how Lexi always knew just what each patient needed.
On the anniversary of Lexi’s tenth year at T.C. Thompson, I got permission for my husband to come along and take videos. Each person and their guardian gave permission to so this. This was planned to be our last visit, as Lexi was already suffering from the cancer that took her a short three months later.
Thanks to Comedy Plus for hosting Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.