The following is a story “written” by Mia Amica Doehring, a Fairfax Pets on Wheels dog, to her fellow FPOW pet volunteers, reprinted from the FPOW Newsletter Nov 2014.
My Fellow Pets
I’d like to relate a recent experience I had with “Mr. Wheels” who takes me to visit all my friends at Commonwealth most Tuesday afternoons. How do I know it’s Tuesday? Wheels does the gym on Tuesday mornings. When he returns I reluctantly permit him to have breakfast. I understand he needs to eat, but I’ve already eaten and am ready to go. If he takes too long I dance around the door, bark, do whatever I need to do to get him moving. I must see my friends !!
FINALLY, we’re off. Well, on one visit, Wheels met a new resident, Mary, and her family. The family noted how much Mary loved dogs. In fact, Mary had been a dog groomer. Well, when I met Mary and her family, they went bonkers over me. I’m an Old English Sheepdog and Mary’s specialty was grooming Old English Sheepdogs! Mary gave Wheels advice on how to control the knots in my long coat, brush them out, keep my coat fluffy, and trim my nails and the hair balls in my feet. Finally, someone who understood how to groom a fine lady like me! And, even better, she checked how well Wheels was using her advice. I returned the favor by putting my front paws on Mary’s bed, giving her kisses and letting her give me the best pets I ever had. Wow! Her family petted me, stroked my coat, shook my paw and enjoyed me as well. I hated to say good-by.
On following visits, I insisted we first go visit Mary. You all know how it is when you have a special friend. But over time, Mary became sicker and sicker and our meetings became shorter. Bummer. But, they all always wanted to know when Wheels would bring me back. Then one day, Mary was no longer in her room. I overheard one of the nurses telling Wheels, Mary had died and the family wanted to let us know. They told Wheels where and when funeral would be. I figured Mary and her family thought I was special to them.
Well, the funeral day came. Wheels, was his normal oblivious self! Again, you know how your Wheels are. Sigh. I insisted Wheels take me to see my friend one last time. When we arrived, we got a lot of strange looks. But, Wheels explained why we were here. The family and all of Mary’s friends were just overcome by me being there. I couldn’t figure it out. She was a dear friend (only exceeded by my Wheels family). Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? We dutifully, took a back pew seat. When the service was over and the sanctuary was emptied , we went up to Mary’s casket, I sat and I said my last goodbyes to Mary. It broke me up (and I understand, Wheels, Mary’s family, and the other folks as well). Afterward, the family and friends, petted me, shook my paw and thanked me for being there. It meant a lot to them.
So my fellow Pets (even cats, grrr), we are the reason FPOW exists. Residents depend on us. We bring joy and happiness to folks who can’t wait to see us again. Let’s keep up our good work. We are special. Even if we have to tolerate the wheels. Mia Amica Doehring