I’d like to take this space today to tell you a heartwarming true story taking place in our Visiting Angels’ business.
A few years ago, my second oldest son and business partner, William, agreed to temporarily dog sit a Golden Retriever for a friend of his who was being transferred overseas. After a year or so, the friend’s circumstances changed and the temporary became permanent, and the retriever, named “Waffles”, became a permanent member of William’s family.
Backup a few years even before Waffles was dropped off and we hired Eva, a care giver to seniors who herself was a senior. After eight years of faithfully serving seniors all over middle Georgia as a Visiting Angel care giver herself, Eva decided it was time for her to work on her retirement plan. So she went to her boss, my son, William and told him what she’d like to do: “I want to train a dog that I can take to my seniors and bring them comfort”; that was her retirement plan! William said “I think I have just the right dog for you: Waffles”.
That was the beginning of Waffles’ formal training as a therapy dog. Even tempered and gentle by nature, Waffles really only needed to be certified to take her sweetness out to the public. And that’s exactly what Eva did. On her own time, after work, Eva would go to William’s house, pick up Waffles in her car and take her to her training classes. I don’t know who enjoyed this more, Eva or Waffles; whoever it was, it worked and Waffles was pronounced ready for duty a couple months ago.
So what exactly is Waffles’ duty? She, along with Amber, our Community Relations Manager and Eva go to visit seniors in assisted living facilities and Nursing homes where senior residents aren’t able to care for pets for obvious reasons.
But when she visits her seniors, Waffles never goes “Empty Pawed”; she almost always dresses in her petite party hat and takes coffee and cupcakes or some other sweet treat to make her seniors feel loved while they enjoy petting her.
So how are these canine capers being received? Waffles already has bookings a couple months into the fall. Here’s how it works:
Amber makes prior arrangements with the senior facility
She takes Waffles to be groomed and dressed for the occasion
They go by the bakery for cupcakes and Starbucks for coffee
They visit the Senior facility for sweet treats and dog petting while all the seniors tell their dog and pet stories
Waffles gets an afternoon out
Eva gets to see her retirement plan blessing lots of seniors, and,
Maybe, just maybe, when a senior needs some extra help, they’ll call Visiting Angels®
It’s a win, win, win retirement plan. Thank you Eva for eight wonderful, unselfish years of service to our seniors!!!!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at email@example.com
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