•The above quote by Martin Luther King Jr. had a profound impact in my life. I always wanted to be "great" at something. This quote sums it up succinctly. "SERVE." And of being of service to others. It's amazing how much better life gets when we aren't trapped inside of our own heads, and it's all about me, me, me, rather, when we are service and helpful and giving to other people.
I was an animal assisted therapy volunteer for 5 years with my, YES, pitbull, at: Children's Hospital Los Angeles,
Shriner's Children Hospital,
Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, and
St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica
Promises of Malibu
Florence Blend School for the Visually Impaired.
We also volunteered at the Special Olympics and at Gold's Gym for an autistic children event.
We volunteered 3 to 4 times a month, even on my days off. But it was worth it. It was awfully heartbreaking though going into PICU and NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) one week and seeing the kiddos and premies, and then learning a week later, that cancer took their little lives.
I never built up tolerance to human suffering, and would have to compose myself or quickly use the back of my arm to wipe away a tear or two.
I was just Indy's chauffeur. It was all about the kiddos (and adults too,) and my Indy girl. The power and impact a doggie has on a vulnerable, oft lonely, hurt and scared person lying on a hospital bed has, is immeasurable and beyond mere words.
The story of my pitbull Indy was the basis for a grant that was awarded by the distinguished Annenberg Foundation. Indy and I were also featured in a PetSmart TV commercial. (Click here xoxo at the 2 and 14 second mark!!)
Indy was the winner of the Best Therapy Dog by Found Animals Foundation.