Meet Savannah... Savannah was born on 2/11/12. She is a descendent of a long line of prize winning show dogs whose breeder has dedicated her life to pet therapy. (Darlington Great Pyrenees). At that Ame of Savannah’s birth, I was running a palliaAve care/hospice unit in a large teaching hospital in NY. Savannah’s mom and her uncle were the pet therapy dogs on my unit. These gentle giants visited my paAents weekly under the loving supervision of their very devoted breeder/handler, Susie Wong. As the Nurse Manager of that unit, I was witness to many small miracles that these canine visits were responsible for. They always brought love, caring, peace and comfort not merely to each and every paAent that they saw, but also to my incredible staﬀ of nurses. It was not unusual for the physicians and nurses on my unit to get down on the ﬂoor and cuddle with them. We all looked forward to their arrival each week. Needless to say, I became very close no only to the dogs, but to their Mom, Susie. When I broke the news to her that I intended to reAre a few months ago, she told me that I would be taking one of her pups with me. I declined; my beloved Belgian Sheepdog had just died, and I did not feel that I could endure that kind of heartbreak again. But, anyone who knows Susie is well aware that she is a force to be reckoned with. Her persistence wore me down, and in September of 2012, Savannah arrived at my home to stay. Susie asked only one thing of me; that I consider training Savannah as a therapy dog. As soon as we moved and seTled here in PA, my husband and I began aTending classes with Savannah to train her. AUer six weeks of classes, Savannah passed her Therapy Training with ﬂying colors. The tester witnessed her incredible love of children, so she suggested that we work with children in a reading program. We are looking forward to beginning that shortly. Savannah is a priceless, precious addiAon to our family. She is loving, smart and protecAve of her new family. She loves to play with all dogs, the smaller, the more gentle she is. She thoroughly loves meeAng new people and “saying Hello” to every one she meets; at Ames it can take us 30-‐40 minutes or more to walk one block because of all the aTenAon she receives rouAnely from people on the street. She loves “cookies”, can do many tricks, and loves to cuddle. Her favorite acAvity in the winter months is laying on our front deck unAl she is completely covered with snow; we oUen have to pick the ice from between her toes. In the summer months, though, she enjoys splashing in her pool and she jumps with joy when we ask her if she wants to get “ice cream”. She knows where she is the minute she arrives, and the patrons as well as the staﬀ have come to know her and look forward to her visits; there is an ice cream cone with a bone in it waiAng for her the minute we arrive. As Susie always says, “The Legend Lives on” though all of the altruisAc and amazing work therapy dogs do. I now cannot imagine my life without my girl, Savannah. She has worked her magic with us as well; she healed our broken hearts and completed our family. She is truly a healer, and I look forward to all of the joy and amazement that I know she will bring to all she touches in the future.
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Published on Sep 18, 2013
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