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Sam goes visiting


Sun, Jan 7th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, January 1, 2001

People have been telling me about how much the residents of nursing homes love to see pets such as dogs and cats, so I thought that it would be nice if Sam and I paid them a visit. It was a couple of days after Christmas when Sam and I went calling and Sam was eager to go. Now I must say that Sam enjoys meeting and mingling with people but since we live in the woods he doesnít have much opportunity to do so. When he sees new people, he becomes overjoyed and will go to great lengths to entertain them.

When Sam and I entered the activities room there were about thirty or forty men and women sitting about drinking coffee and eating cookies and little cakes. In the center of the room there was a very large Christmas tree with lights, ornaments and ropes of tinsel. The residents appeared happy to see Sam and most of them didnít object when he stood up and put his paws on their shoulders and some of them didnít seem to mind when he licked their faces.

Sam was having the time of his life mingling with the people and when someone gave him a cookie he liked it so much that he helped himself to the cookies and cakes that were on the tables and he didnít mean to tip over the table with the cakes. Now Sam has been trained to pick up after himself and not to leave a mess so he ate the cakes that were on the floor while I picked up the tables and plates.

I thought that, with the possible exception of the spilled cakes, everything was just fine and for the most part, Sam and the residents were having a pretty good time. As a matter of fact, I was just beginning to relax a bit when some lady came into the room with her cat.

Now, as far as dogs go, Sam is a very tolerant dog but Sam does not appreciate being upstaged. He doesnít like to have anyone trying to get into his act. Sam was showing the cat to the door when the cat became overly excited and climbed to the top of the Christmas tree.

When Sam tried to help the cat down from the tree, which I thought was unstable to begin with; cat, dog and tree came crashing down to the floor. Never have I seen such a display of lights and ornaments scattered about over such a large area. By this time, most of the residents had retired to their rooms so the overturned tree, the tipped over tables, chairs and the cracked crockery, in my opinion, at least, did not seem to be too much of a problem and I was amazed at how quickly the staff responded to what they perceived to be some sort of an emergency.

I was able to extricate Sam from a string of lights and take him out to the car, since for all intents and purposes, the party seemed to be over.

The nursing home director came out to see us off and told us how much our visit had meant to the residents and staff. He told us that we neednít be overly concerned about the Christmas tree because they had planned to take it down in a week or two anyway. I told him that we had thoroughly enjoyed our visit and asked him to send me a bill if there were any damages to the lights, ornaments or whatever. He assured me that he would most certainly do so. He also informed us that the residents and staff had seen all that they cared to see of the two of us and that return visit would not be necessary. Sam and I wished him a happy New Year and drove off for home filled with the spirit of the holidays. I donít know what became of the lady and her cat.

John Flaherty

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