Today we volunteered at the hospital again. We spent the whole time in the children's center as usual! I brought along some new props, so we we could add a few new tricks to our routine!
We volunteer for about 2 hours. And there are usually a few patients we really connect with. Today we started on the 7th floor making our rounds. Room 706 was my favorite room today. There was a little 6 year old boy lying in the hospital bed watching TV. His older sister (who was maybe 8?) was on the foot of his bed. Both were looking pretty bored. The little freckle-faced boy was especially disengaged. His eyes were kind of glossed over. But they both got so excited when Jasmine came in. Suddenly they were alert. She started doing her first trick (sit pretty) before I even asked her to. (Jasmine's philosophy is less talking, more tricks!) (Which means more treats!) ;) The kids were totally engaged. I went through our little routine. Plus encores. They kept asking, "Can you do sneeze again? Can you do High 5 again? Can you do dance again?" They were so cute. And even the parents were enthralled with Jasmine. The dad was British, so it sounded so cool when he spoke! We spent a long time in that room doing extra tricks- because they were really involved. They wanted to know how I trained her. And how old she was. And what did she look like as a puppy. It was so fun. So that was our international room.
My next favorite room was down on the 5th floor. I lucked out this time, and there were a bunch of kids in the playroom. (Sometimes that's empty when I go.) So I got to do a more involved trick show for a whole group of kids. I liked this one. Because when I walked in, one of the girls that was painting had tears in her eyes. (I'm not sure why.) So when we were doing the show I would specifically ask some of the questions to her. "Do you want to hear Jasmine talk like Scooby Doo?" She nodded her head yes. Then Jaz would do the little routine. And by the time we left, all the kids were laughing and smiling. That's what I live for. I love the sound of children laughing. And for some reason, Jasmine connects better with little kids than adults. She doesn't mind adults. But she LOVES little kids. She doesn't even mind when a bunch of them try to pet her at once. She's so good with them!
The last room we went to, the family didn't speak English. Luckily, dogs transcend all language barriers. I did Jasmine's little trick show, and got the same amount of laughs and smiles as the previous rooms. So even though I couldn't communicate with them, Jasmine could. And she brightened their day.
So... this is why I like to volunteer. It just makes my heart happy to see other people enjoying Jasmine's little tricks. Jasmine loves the attention and the treats. And the kids love her visits. It's a win-win.