When we got Kipawa, we always knew we would eventually do serious hospital therapy work with him. We just didn't think it would happen so soon.
My husband is in the hospital right now. He is a quadriplegic (many of you know this). Last week he had a seizure, and since then, we have found out that he has pneumonia, which reduced his oxygen to his brain, thus causing the seizure. Kipawa is always with us, and because of this, I wanted to take him to the hospital to see his 'dad'. I put his little red therapy dog vest on him and hoped for the best in a very busy hospital.
For lack of a better word, I am astounded. My silly little Kipawa on his own has become such a good will ambassador. I thought he would go for supper trays, chew bedsheets, pull me down hallways and generally 'be a basenji'. But there has been none of that. Does he know what the vest means? When I put the vest on him, there is a very evident transformation. It is incredible. It's almost as if he figured out it was time to grow up a little, and that he had serious work to do in the hospital. I cannot explain it.
It is quite unbelievable watching him in a crammed full elevator sitting quietly while people ask about him. SO much joy in my heart as people smile at him! He loves being with children while they uncurl his tail (yikes!) or just sitting quietly with adults in the hospital while I talk to them. He lifts up everyone's spirits. People show us pictures of their dogs (on their cell phones) and for a little while the reasons they have for being in the hospital are gone. Their minds go to a different place where they feel themselves with their loved animals. I am blessed to be experiencing this with them.
I DO know that this is the kind of dog you get when you find wonderful breeders. Therese and Kevin, you should be very proud of your breeding program. You made Kipawa used to strange noises, objects, children, office environments and so much more. Because of the care you take, you now have a boy who is bringing sunshine to those who might otherwise not be feeling it.
I've taken some pictures and will post them when I download them from my camera. Right now I am craving a nice hot bath with Kipawa in the bathroom with me, snoring happily.
Happy New Year to all of you. May you be blessed with good health, heartfelt happiness, and joy and wonders with your special basenjis. Because they ALL are special.