Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sam has nothing to do with gardening

The sole purpose of my visit to New Zealand was not to view all the gorgeous gardens,but to visit my daughter, other family members, and friends.

Sam is a three year old Bichon Frise who's job is to visit his Friends at Amaryllis House, a home for sufferers of Huntington's Disease, in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Sam and his Mum belong to a group called Canine Friends Pet therapy.

You are asking how do I know this sweet little dog. I met him as he visited Amaryllis house when I was staying there with my daughter Tina. Yes, my darling daughter is a Huntington's sufferer. The main purpose of my visit to New Zealand was to celebrate Tina's 40th birthday and I was delighted to see the looks on the faces of the residents when Sam gave them a smooch.
Quote from Sam's story in the Canine Friends Pet therapy news letter:
These people are mostly pretty sick but love touching my very soft fur and they also like a good kiss. I know officially I shouldn't kiss them, but they sometimes get tears in their eyes when I smooch them, so I think that means it's OK. Some patients cannot speak much but they manage "goodbye Sam' when I go and that is nice for Mum and me.

To read more on Sam's story, click on the link above, then on news letters in the left side bar. Sam's story is Winter 09, page four. You will also see Tina and Sam, and her friend Ally who were featured in the story

I had heard of canine therapy but never seen it in action before. I was so taken by the looks on the faces of the residents as the touched Sam (the people who were able touch him) and the ones who could not, expressed their emotions with their eyes. I can tell you I had tears in my eyes as I observed their reaction to Sam's gentle way.

Thank you Sam and your Mum for bringing so my joy to the residents of Amaryllis house, I know my Tina loves to hold you when you visit, as she is an animal lover, having worked at at an animal shelter years ago when she was well.


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Hi Jennifer! Belated Happy Birthday to Tina! I hope Sam will visit Amaryllis house (what a pretty name!) again!

mistaya's M.O.M. said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post KeeWee, you brought tears to my eyes with the dogs story about the residents of this wonderful place. Thank you, Gail

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It sounds like Tina lives in a great place and I'm glad you got to celebrate her birthday with her.
Being a Bichon owner I know what sweet dogs they are, although mine is a little too excited to be a therapy dog. I think it's so great that Sam gets to bring some pleasure to the residents of Amaryllis house.

lynn'sgarden said...

Hi Jennifer, thank you for sharing this special visit with us. It's nice to meet your Tina. I have a good friend who's (18-yr. old)daughter also lives with Huntington's and I know how difficult it can be...How wonderful you were there to celebrate her 40th ;)

Peggy said...

Hi Jennifer, it was a very long journey but it was for a special reason for a very special person in your life.I have not heard of Huntington's Disease so followed the link to read about it.I Tina has many more birthdays to celebrate and Sam is such a lovely companion to share time with.