A Visit Full of Surprises!

A Visit Full of Surprises – Patti Jo Hibshman

The day and visit turned out to be much brighter then the skies outside! Suzy Q, my black Labrador Retriever/mix and I traveled to Camp Hill Golden Living on September 28.
The plan was to have KPETS teams come and walk outside with the residents. This was my first time, so we were glad to follow Kevin and Wanda Landis and Chip, dressed in a peace scarf, inside the front door. Chip is a black Labrador Retriever and fly ball champion. He is a regular visitor to Camp Hill Golden Living Center with his owners.
Suzy Q received warm greetings and lots of attention from residents in the hall. Since it was gray, cloudy and threatening showers outside, the walk was cancelled. Inside, the group was very sunny.
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The first surprise was seven KPETS Teams came for visits. Debbie Jackson, Physical Therapist, was cheerfully welcoming residents, staff, and dogs with owners as they arrived in the room. People arrived walking, or with motorized wheelchairs, and some using walkers and canes. The room was full with dogs and happy people.
The second surprise was Nancy Campbell and Holly, a Golden Retriever were honored by the residents with a generous check for KPETS. Nancy and Holly had earned the AKC Therapy Dog Award by providing Animal Assisted Therapy in the Physical Therapy Department at Camp Hill Golden Living for over 3 years and greater than 150 visits. Nancy explained the award and badge on Holly’s vest to the room of attendees.
The third surprise was residents handed out handmade organic treats in gift bags for all of the dogs. We humans were served delicious cake and punch. The entire time, there was lots of visiting and hugs, petting, and short walks indoors. Sally Henry had Tryp, her golden Retriever all dressed up with a baseball cap, scarf, and pumpkin sunglasses. Christine Renninger was mingling with her black Labrador – Sammy. Catherine Zeigfield and Josie – a Shitzu-poodle, entertained everyone with cute spins and other tricks. A black, soft curly Newfoundland – Buoy, gently navigated around the room with Janelle and daughter Cheyenne Senft.
Nancy heard from Debbie Jackson, (physical therapist)  that this was one of the best attended activities the residents have had. I know Suzy Q and I enjoyed the visit and will return.