Planetree Pet Therapy Award
Most people think a tasty bone motivates me to do my very best each day. It is so typical that humans would think so simply of a dog; unfortunately we are so misunderstood. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ellie Mae, known as Miss Ellie to my many adoring fans. I am a purebred Shitzu. I know that is very impressive, but hold on to your seats…I am also a fully trained service dog – six months of intense training. How many dogs do you know that can turn on light switches with their noses? Huh, not many, I bet.
I am here to tell you why I am deserving of Planetree’s National Pet Therapy Award. I hear from the doggy grapevine that winning this award is a B. D. D (A Big Doggie Deal) – so here goes.
Each day I come to a very special hospital in Mount Kisco, New York called Northern Westchester Hospital. My owner works there, so how cool is it that she gets to bring her dog to work with her everyday? When I get there, my groupies are always ready to get down to my level and give me giant hugs, strokes and my personal favorite; lots of compliments about how adorable I am. My groupies are the employees of the hospital – they love me, and I love them. Then it’s off to work. These really terrific volunteers from our community, who want to participate in our dog therapy program, but don’t have dogs of their own, come to the hospital and pick me up from my owner’s office. Off we go to the nursing units and public waiting areas and we spend time visiting. When I am with patients, I do my best to be there for them. To let them pet me and hold me and just let me take care of them.
I have lots of stories to tell about the times I am with patients, but one special girl really made me feel like a very special dog. This little girl was sick on our pediatric unit. The nurses asked that I pay her a visit, and I sat on her bed for quite some time. Her mom said I made her daughter smile for the first time since she has been here. Each day, I went up to see her, I stayed with her for as long as I could. I could tell by the way she held me that my being there made her feel better; more calm, less scared. Another time, I was visiting a patient on our oncology unit. She lit right up when she saw me come in. I could tell she was very sick. The patient asked me to come back so she could sketch me. That was a new one. So, I would sit at the edge of her bed while she drew. Just call me Mona Mae!
Most of my day, I spend with kids. Its funny how happy we make each other. My tail wags all day and the kids have more smiles than I have ever seen in a hospital. So, if you would like to know what motivates me each day to do my very best – here is what goes through my doggie mind – seeing the smiles of the people I bring joy to every day is much more satisfying than any tasty bone you could throw my way!
Respectfully Submitted by,
Ellie Mae’s Northern Westchester Hospital Fan Club