Monday, July 25, 2016
This past week my visit at the VA was most interesting. I had the opportunity to meet a WWII vet who at the age of 96 looks more like someone in his 70’s. Unfortunately he was on the hospice floor but was completely coherent and with quite a memory as well. While he was visiting with Maggie he was relating his stories of his days with his Labrador Retrievers-all three of them. Their favorite activity was hiking through the woods and running through the streams. I noticed a smile appear on his face as he talked about this. Obviously a pleasant memory. He chose not to speak of his days during the war – “those days are over” he commented “I prefer to think of happy times” I find it so interesting that some people live in their past while others chose to forget them. My second encounter this past week was with one of my regulars. Mr. D- had just returned from the hospital where much to my surprise he had his second leg amputated. When I asked him how he was doing his reply was “When I left the VA I was 6’3” and now I am 3’6” –I might add he said this with a chuckle as Mr. D- has a keen sense of humor. He did point out his bed will no longer need to be extended to accommodate his large size. Always the comic, Mr. D- asked how “Blondie” was doing, the name he uses for Maggie. Maggie sat patiently as Mr. D maneuvered around slowly so he could give a little attention to Maggie. Mr. D- loves to talk baseball, something I am not always in tune to. So I listened patiently and tried to comment and question when appropriate. All in all it was a nice visit and as we leave Maggie’s head is held high, her stomach is filled with treats and I am once again amazed at people’s resilience.