For many people, this time of year is a season of giving. Amid all the holiday shopping and celebrating, if we are very lucky, we are sometimes reminded that the most touching gifts often do not come from a store.
Sue Engeseth, one of our dedicated volunteers and board members, received a poignant reminder of the true spirit of the season when she was gifted a beautiful portrait of her dog, Tilly, from a resident at the facility they visit. She says:
“Our visit today at the Lakeshore was “extra” special … a few months ago i noticed one of the residents, in his late-80s, had a bunch of paint brushes, drawings etc. in his carry bag on the walker. I pointed to them and tried to ask if i could see them (he speaks very little English). He smiled and pulled out probably 20 paper plates with drawings of different dog breeds … i was pretty blown away … through much gesturing i realized he wanted to draw Tilly and for me to bring in a photo of her. The next week i did along with some canvas for him. Today, he had a huge smile on his face, opened his drawer and brought out his painting he did of Tilly and looked at me and said “Merry Christmas” … one of the most precious gifts I have ever received, I will treasure it forever.”
As all of our volunteers know, visiting people in care facilities with pets is an incredibly rewarding experience that yields many ‘gifts’. Once or twice a week, we bring the joy and healing comfort of animal companionship and in return, we get the privilege of meeting many interesting people, hearing their stories and being a part of their community. This spirit of giving is truly a joy to be a part of.
Happy holidays to you all and may the season bring you the most wonderful gifts!