FURLOUGHED THERAPY DOODLES

By Monday, June 1, 2020 12 No tags Permalink

Hello Friend! Wondering where I’ve been lately? At home – living with furloughed Therapy Doodles since the beginning of April…

For me us, life hasn’t been too terribly awkward. We have not lost a family member to Coronovirus (as I pray the same for you) and because of that – I consider us slightly “inconvenienced” and not devastatingly “affected.” #blessed

While I comprehend the importance to sheltering in place, I quickly realized the Boys did not understand. As therapy dogs they were trained and encouraged to approach strangers, then everything changed.

There is no way to explain “social distancing” to them. Their lifestyle has gone from 60 to zero – instantly! Furloughed are the days experiencing a daily Doodle-dose of human contact…

The first eleven days they were Doodle-lated to have me home, day after day #afterday

Today (day seventy eight) they still appreciate my presence – but I sense they also hunger for other humans to smell. 

For two years a huge chunk of their days were spent around dozen’s of patients, family members and medical personnel. Over night that all changed. Will they ever have that experience again?…

THERAPY DOOD LIFE – 

The explosive growth of our program, gave way for Harley to work a part-time schedule. He turned eleven in 2019 and his pace slowed down shortly thereafter. Not wanting to accelerate the aging process, his office visits decreased to one (possibly two) days per week.

The first quarter of 2020 he became my special events Dood. He’d attend meetings and accept special request visits from reoccurring patients returning for inpatient procedures.

Jaxson, however, worked the brunt of the week – which allowed him to expel all that Doodle energy.

A full day at the hospital for Jax started about 7:45am and ended a little after 5pm. Often he would eat dinner in my office as I closed out my day.  

Suffice to say, they both appreciated their days off – in-between to “chill”

OUR CURRENT SITUATION – 

Three weeks prior to our temporary change in employment, I worked remotely. Initially I believe they thought this was a vacation. 

As the days of the week started to blend together – my presence started to lose its fizz. I became a “regular” here in Doodleville. 

Once my professional status changed to “temporarily unemployed” Lee and I started tackling outdoor projects together. This new career includes daily jaunts to Lowe’s, and of course the Boys are in tow. Social distancing is impawsible with these two, so the three of us remain in the truck while Lee shops. Harley & Jaxson people watch…

Observing them as they gaze at the flurry of humans coming and going in the parking lot helped me realize how much they miss other humans.

Living with a pandemic is a challenge for ALL of us as we navigate life everyday. I can’t imagine what my Doods (and all pets for that matter) are experiencing with such an abrupt change in their routines. 

BC (before Corona) they loved to play in the backyard – just the two of them. The other day, I let them outside and because I didn’t go out there with them, they remained on the steps…

They’ve never been that clingy #saranwrapdoodles

A WHOLE NEW WORLD – 

I don’t like to call this our new normal, I prefer to look at it as our “new world.” I believe things will get better, and THAT will become the new normal.

During this down-time I’ve been working on strengthening their response to certain commands and I’m re-writing my “A-Z Goldendoodle” book (can’t wait for you to read it!). 

When I’m writing, Harley keeps my schedule for me. Based on his standards – if I’ve been in front of the computer too long – he gently reminds me when it’s time to take a break and have some fun with them…

I’m forced to comply! 

We take long walks, run around the house driving Lee crazy and spend time cuddling on the porch. I’m taking good care of them, and they’re taking DOODLE-TASTIC care of me!

I don’t know when the Therapy Dog program will be reinstated. To help our Healthcare Heroes – who miss the pups so much – we created a hospital YouTube page so they (along with patients) could see how many of the therapy pups are spending their days during this hiatus. “Virtual” pet therapy seemed like a viable option in the interim.

Here’s Jaxson’s 60 seconds of fame…

The beaches in our area have slowly started to open up. Pawhaps in late June we will venture out in the wee hours of the morning for some Doodle-surf time. But of course (like all plans) this is predicated on how the southern region handles this forecast of increased Covid-19 cases coming our way. 

If you’ve noticed your pet is bored, restless confused and/or unsettled since the pandemic started, this article may offer some helpful insight and suggestions: Important things pet owners should to know and do while social distancing, according to veterinarians

I hope and pray you and your family are safe and healthy. Please let me know how your pets are handling any changes this virus has created in their lives.

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. ❤️ Joyce Meyer

12 Comments
  • Alessandra and Pedro
    June 1, 2020

    Hi Cathy, so good to hear from you and to know that you, the Boys and Family are all staying healthy and well.
    I’ve also been working from home. Pedro has been the ideal Fluffboss. First few days we ventured out for walks in the middle of the day but as he keeps aging, we’ve had some difficult days lately and we prefer to stay indoors, go out int he yard and inspect what’s starting to bloom and recently, saying hello to the neighbours as they walk by. He has definitely become my “velcro” dog more than ever, I can’t leave a room without him getting up (sometimes painfully as he gets stiff legs) and following me. He has to supervise me constantly! 🙂 But at the same time, he has been my line to sanity too. I think it was around week 4 that I went through a dark phase of this all, too much watching grim news and predictions on where this pandemic was going and how it has changed our “normal” probably forever made me sad, angry and depressed. Pedro was there for me, as he always has been. They’re such amazing and intuitive creatures.
    These past few days we’ve been dealing with a fairly serious health issue for him and though he is okay, I do live in fear of losing him. What am I going to do without my Baby, my companion, my Fluffboss, Cathy? I know I have to enjoy every minute and I cherish his smile and I still get frustrated when he randomly starts barking at me (like he is doing this very minute) but I also don’t know how I will be without him -when the time comes- as life before him is just a blurry memory.
    Stay well. Hugs and loving paws to the Boys!

    • Richmond Henriques
      June 1, 2020

      Cathy,,

      Glad to hear you all are well and bored !!
      Our 2 doodles (Golden and Labra) have a large yard to run and play with balls and frisbees.
      One of them usually sleeps with my wife who has brain cancer. A great comfort for her.
      They have adjusted to our 24 hour a day care givers, which has resulted in licks and kisses.

      All the best,

      Rich

      • Cathy Bennett
        June 1, 2020

        Hey Rich – sounds like your Doods are handling this lifestyle change pretty well. A large yard with balls is Jaxson’s dream. We have become accustomed to the park until it was closed due to the pandemic. I have found other areas to let him run and get exercise, but he does like to romp in the park. Sending GOLDEN hugs and DOODLE kisses to your wife. Take care….

      • Patricia Broccoli
        June 2, 2020

        Hi Cathy so glad to hear you are all well. Baxter has become so much more attached to us because we are always home and take walks with him several times a day that he thinks when we go out the door for anything he should be going also. I am reading all the comments and praying for everyone and every four legged family member. My heart goes out to everyone during this difficult time.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 1, 2020

      How old is Pedro now? Please don’t miss the present by focusing and fearing the future. Live every day to it’s fullest, enjoy Pedro now! I love that term “Fluffboss” I have two of them here with me LOL What are you doing to hep elevate Pedro’s stiffness? I’m asking because I haven’t seen this in Harley – but I understand it could become a problem. I watch a brief moment of news in the morning and again in the evening. That’s about all I can take. I want to remain informed but I will not allow it to consume me. So, don’t absorb too much. Take care my friend, and let’s keep in touch…

      • Alessandra and Pedro
        June 2, 2020

        Thank you for your kind words, Cathy and your encouragement. Pedro will be 13 in November. These days, I sit on the floor and hold his paws in my hands and talk to him about when he was a puppy and he drove me crazy… LOL My biggest thing is to tell him how much I love him and how much he means in my life.
        Re. the stiffness, he was on Glucosamine for a few years but a couple of years ago, our vet diagnosed him with Degenerative Myelopathy which is more a nervous system issue than a joint-related one. So, not that the glucosamine was hurting him (and he loved the treats that came with each dose) but the benefit was limited. Degenerative Myelopathy has no treatment and causes no pain, it makes his hind legs “give out” from under him at random times, but not surprisingly, he has adapted the way he goes up and down the stairs and at times, forgets he is almost 13 and tries to run like a crazy banshee as he did when he was younger. I’ve had him on the turmeric “golden paste” as a base for a yam-turkey-broccoli homemade “sauce” that I serve with his kibble and I am hopeful that has been healthy for him too. A few months ago, I also started giving him a capsul of Milk Thistle -vet-approved for liver issues.
        As always, you are right, I need to focus on enjoying the moment with this sweet boy of mine.
        Virtual hugs to you and loving paws to your beautiful Boys. Stay safe and healthy.

  • Ducky's Mom
    June 1, 2020

    Hi Cathy! Ducky and I have been absent from Blogville as well, but not so much because of the pandemic. Hubby’s dementia has at times been a lot for Ducky to deal with; and that makes it tough for me as well. But we have an excellent virtual support team, so between us we manage. Plus, Ducky and I are taking a great online course to help us deal with her reactivity.

    Glad to hear that you and yours are staying healthy and safe! We are here in G’ville as well.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 1, 2020

      Hey Girlfriend, please take care of yourself. You are a blessing to hubby and deep down I believe he knows that. But you’ve got to take care of you too! Ducky is taking some courses huh? Can’t wait to read about that one.LOLI’m hoping to get back to my writing schedule now – please pray for me. I missed it, but I think I needed to take a break and refuel. Stay healthy in your neck of the woods. XOXO

  • Madison
    June 1, 2020

    Our work is our sports. Thankfully, classes have resumed this week, and we are entered in two trials later this month…praying they are not cancelled. We need our sports, and miss them so. Mom didn’t realize what a way of life they had become for us, a purpose, a social outlet, and most importantly fun. I’m sure your work is just like our sports. Hope you can get back to it soon too!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 1, 2020

      I thought of you and your sisters a few weeks ago Madison, I wondered if you were able to compete during the pandemic. You’re correct – therapy work is similar to your sport. It’s our routine and now it’s gone. I’m trying to be patient and wait for the virus to flatten and then hopefully we will be able to get back to what we do…. Take care ladies, stay safe and healthy. Good luck this month.

  • Tails Around the Ranch
    June 4, 2020

    Oh Cathy, I absolutely love your YouTube videos for patients! Yes, being a former furloughed pet therapist I feel your pain. Life sure got strange for everyone but will suggest a YouTube channel from the pets to the nurses. They are working ever so hard in the face of a terrifying epidemic. Give the boys extra ear rubs from me; stay healthy, stay sane and keep smiling.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2020

      That would be amazing for your nurses as well. The volunteers seemed to enjoy doing it too. They also feel mis-placed during the pandemic. If ever there was a need for therapy animals it would be now. Ours hasn’t gone up yet. ADA law now requires closed caption on all video’s so someone is trying to get that done, in-between everything else they’re doing at work #smh Whenever it is live I will definitely share.

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