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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas visits to the hospital

Usually on Fridays, Jasmine and I go to the hospital to visit the kids. But the last 2 weeks, I have been sick with that cold/ sore throat that has been going around. And I was kind of disappointed. Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. I bought Jasmine a little Santa dress- because I knew the kids would get a kick out of it. And I really wanted to be able to cheer up the kids that had to be in the hospital during the holidays. But then I haven't been able to go.
So finally yesterday, we were able to go make our visits for the first time in December. And what a special time we had. Although volunteering makes me feel good overall, there are typically a few kids or families that we connect with that completely reinforces why we keep going back.
The first one was before we had even started. We met this little girl in the hospital lobby. She was enamored with Jasmine. She was her visiting her brother, but was feeling restless so her grandma had taken her down to the lobby. (And you can tell it was exhausting for her grandma to try and keep up with her!) So Jasmine was a fantastic distraction. The grandma sat on a bench while the little girl pet Jaz and kept her entertained. We spent quite a bit of time down there, but the grandma really needed the break... and that little girl wasn't about to give Jasmine back! ;)Jasmine is so gentle with little kids. I just love watching them interact. The second one that stood out in my mind was a girl from the 5th floor. It just reminded me how Jasmine can break down any barrier. After I got buzzed into the doors of the 5th floor, I pushed Jasmine's cart up to the nurses station to check in. They were really busy, so I had to wait. The door was open to room 501. There was a little girl who went to the edge of the bed and was looking at us. So I had Jasmine "sit pretty" and wave to her. This little girl perked up and started waving back energetically. It was kind of a game who could wave more. I kept telling Jaz to "say hi!" I thought it was just innocent fun. Then the nurses station was free, so I went forward to get the list of who I was allowed to visit. One of the nurses said, I would definitely NOT go to room 501! I said- "oh? Is she contagious?" The nurse said, "No, she was just bitten by a dog."

So that surprised me. But then I thought about it. Who could be intimidated by a furry little dog on a cart, wearing a dress, that is sitting pretty and waving at you? And hopefully that simple little interaction with Jasmine will help her to have a positive experience with a dog to counteract the negative experience that had occurred. So she's not so traumatized by it. That's my hope anyway.

As we were going down the hall, even grown-ups would crack a smile at this furry little dog being pushed around on a cart. So I felt like our visits were successful. Santa Paws had visited the hospital. ;)

Jasmine and I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. :)
Jasmine likes to remind me that it's not about the presents, it's about the love. And that's the best gift of all.

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