It’s hard to believe that Grover is now four years old. Even though that is still young in dog years, his aging can make me feel sad at times. I miss that short period of time when he was a young. It went by too fast. He has grown into such a sweet, wonderful therapy dog that spends his days giving unconditional love and acceptance to others. I could not be more proud of him.
Not only does he work four days per week at CompDrug, he continues to go to the Zangmeister Cancer Center to visit people getting their cancer treatments every month. He also spends some time with the nurses and patient’s families because he knows they need comfort too. The other day when we were making our rounds, he met a man who was at the cancer center for his first radiation treatment. Right away, Grover sensed that the man was nervous by watching his body language. And what did Grover do? He went right over to that man and leaned into him, so he could comfort him. The man and his wife were so appreciative and spent some time talking to me about how he became a therapy dog. It helped to take their mind off the cancer for just a little while and you could see that the man became calmer with Grover by his side.
On Friday’s, Grover attends a group I lead called Stress Management. You can tell that this is Grover’s favorite place to be, as he gets to interact in a large room with about 12 or more patients that pet and play with him. Sometimes he will steal someone’s shoe to get more attention. It makes the patient’s laugh and it gets their mind’s off of their problems for a while. Like one of the patient’s said, ” Grover isn’t always the most perfect acting therapy dog, but he is perfect for CompDrug.” It continues to amaze me how the presence of a sweet animal can change the energy of a whole room.
There are times in my life, that Grover comforts me as well. After a recent loss in my own family, Grover stayed by my side through it all. His presence brought comfort and helped me to stay strong through a difficult journey. His loyalty and never-ending enthusiasm are a life model we would all do well to follow.
As a reward for Grover being a therapy dog extraordinaire, his birthday surprise will consist of all his favorite things like swimming, playing with his favorite dogs and a big birthday cake. So, Happy Birthday dear Grover and thanks for enriching out lives.