Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ICE CREAM AND DOGS-MY FAVORITE THINGS

Okay, before you get completely grossed out by the title of this blog post as in why would I want to discuss ice cream and dogs in the same post, let me explain. I think they both provide some of the same benefits. Both offer us comfort in times of stress and both can brighten our day if we are feeling down. At this facility they allow both dogs and ice cream, sometimes at the same time.

The ice cream social takes place six days a week, from two-thirty to three o'clock, in an area in the lobby that has the look and feel of a quaint ice cream parlor. Someone from the activities department is behind the counter dishing out delicious scoops of ice cream. Sure, there is Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry, but who can resist trying  flavors named Caramel Caribou, Moose Tracks or Blueberry Waffle Cone? My personal favorites are Orange-Pineapple and Coffee. There are three different flavors to choose from each day. There are even days when milkshakes and root beer floats are served up. Every Wednesday is the popcorn social. Popcorn is made in a movie theater style popcorn machine and served in bags. The socials are a place to visit with other residents. I have met other residents and enjoyed talking with them while eating my ice cream.

Sundays are when not only is there ice cream, but you might see the dogs from Love on a Leash during that time too These dogs and their owners go through training to become.pet therapy dogs. I have written blogs in the past about the benefits of bringing dogs into facilities, but now that I reside in one, I know firsthand how much these visits mean. These dogs are gentile, loving creatures whose owners make sure you get to spend time with each dog. I have difficulty reaching down to pet some of the dogs, so the bigger dogs are better for me as they can stand or sit at the side of my chair and I can pet them easily. Love on a Leash visits on Sundays and Tuesdays. I wish they came everyday.

I couldn't end this post without telling you about another dog who comes every Monday with his owner, Jane. His name is Harvey. Harvey is all black, black fur, black eyes. Jane holds Harvey in her arms and when I talk to him he gives the impression that he can't be bothered and turns his face away. I continue to talk soothingly to him and pet his paw. Last Monday as I was doing this, Harvey put his paw on my arm. Jane said, 'He must like you. He rarely does that to anyone." Then, he turned his face. We were almost nose to nose. For a minute I thought he was going to give me a kiss on the nose, but he just sniffed. "Did he just give you a kiss?" Jane asked. "Almost." I told her. She was amazed because he never kisses anyone. I know my nose kiss is coming. I'll be patient Harvey.

Dogs and ice cream. You can't be sad when a dog is around or when eating ice cream. Both make people happy. That's why they are two of my favorite things.