Several times a month, my children and I head down to one of the local nursing homes with our two chihuahuas, Lucy and Barley (shown here). We make our rounds stopping in every single room to see if the residents would like to see the dogs and visit with us a while.
The kids handle the dogs and have them perform their various tricks, which always brings a smile. We also offer to help with anything that we can, such as getting fresh water, wheeling someone down to the community areas, or just adjusting them in bed.
Sometimes our usual friends will be taking a nap or maybe off at the beauty shop, so we miss them. On other days we meet new residents and they are delighted to know that they can look forward to our visits. One of my favorite residents used to sleep all day long and the nurses had difficulty waking her up and getting her to move around. After we started coming to visit, she began getting up on her own to go have her hair and nails done for our visit. Now we wake her up and walk her outside and spend extra time with her.
Our two huas, as we call them, have very different personalities. Lucy is a bit more excited to meet new people and squirms all around in their laps. She often jumps up to lick them in the face. We usually keep her on the floor or stand very close by so that we can grab her before her quick movements can scare them. Barley, our long haired hua, is the opposite. She is calm and at times a little shy. She only weighs 3 pounds so we know that she’s not going to hurt anyone by standing on them, and she usually just tries to find a spot to curl up and go to sleep.
Giving a bit of our time and sharing our pets with these residents has become a wonderful blessing to many. We love watching our children interact and care for the elderly. The residents have a consistent visitor where sometimes they may go weeks or months without any. And of course, the huas get all that attention, which they can’t deny makes them very happy puppies.