Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My visit to New Zealand

Sam is a three year old Bichon Frise who's job is to visit his Friends at Amaryllis House, a home for sufferers of Huntington's Disease, in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Sam and his Mum belong to a group called Canine Friends Pet therapy.

You are asking how do I know this sweet little dog. I met him as he visited Amaryllis house when I was staying there with my daughter Tina. Yes, my darling daughter is a Huntington's sufferer. The main purpose of my visit to New Zealand was to celebrate Tina's 40th birthday and I was delighted to see the looks on the faces of the residents when Sam gave them a smooch.
Quote from Sam's story in the Canine Friends Pet therapy news letter:
These people are mostly pretty sick but love touching my very soft fur and they also like a good kiss. I know officially I shouldn't kiss them, but they sometimes get tears in their eyes when I smooch them, so I think that means it's OK. Some patients cannot speak much but they manage "goodbye Sam' when I go and that is nice for Mum and me.

To read more on Sam's story, click on the link above, then on news letters in the left side bar. Sam's story is Winter 09, page four. You will also see Tina and Sam, and her friend Ally who were featured in the story

I had heard of canine therapy but never seen it in action before. I was so taken by the looks on the faces of the residents as the touched Sam (the people who were able touch him) and the ones who could not, expressed their emotions with their eyes. I can tell you I had tears in my eyes as I observed their reaction to Sam's gentle way.

Thank you Sam and your Mum for bringing so my joy to the residents of Amaryllis house, I know my Tina loves to hold you when you visit, as she is an animal lover, having worked at at an animal shelter years ago when she was well.

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