Far Guys Sister, Far Guys Mother, Far Guy and Chance 2005 We carried him into the Nursing Home when he was just eight weeks old. Far Guys Mom said "It's about time you kids got a dog, and he is a pretty cute little guy too. What did you name him?" We replied "Chance"..our last chance for a dog.
From that day on, Chance became a Nursing Home visiting dog. He visited every other day with Far Guy. Sure there were some days he had to stay home, muddy wet dogs have to stay home. But for the most part he was ready to go anytime we said "Lets go visit Grandma." He loved her, and she loved him, she called him "My Dog." She would save cookies for him and hide them in her room. On her bad days she might not remember much of anything, but she always remembered where the cookies were hidden. Which side of which drawer the stash of cookies was hidden in today. After all you never forget a real friends favorite treat.
Chance learned a lot from Grandma, he learned not to be afraid of a cane. He learned to walk along side her walker. He learned that wheelchairs won't hurt you. He learned to sit in front of an automatic door and wait for it to open. He learned that it was OK to put your paws on the edge of the bed to be petted, but that Grandma did not want him in bed with her! He was allowed to put his front feet on the arm of her wheelchair if she invited him to do so, often he would steal just one kiss. One kiss that was enough for Grandma! He learned that when she cried, if he cried and whined too, she would stop crying, dry her eyes and laugh at him.
Chance knew the way to the Nursing Home, the right, left, left, left turns that would get you into the parking lot. As soon as you made that first right turn in town he would start to get excited, he knew where you were going, and that the lady with the cookies was there. He knew the way to her room, straining at the leash to walk faster, he knew which bed was hers. He and Far Guy were faithful visitors for over two years.
The last time I took him into the home to visit, I told him "This is it buddy, time to say goodbye." Grandma had been sleeping for days, he put his paws on the edge of her bed and licked her hand. Her hand never moved, and poor Chance looked confused, I found a stashed cookie in a drawer and we left. Two days later Grandma left the home for a heavenly one. There is no explaining death to a dog, we humans don't begin to understand it all that well, so it is impossible to explain to a dog. There is still something he knows... He still knows the right, left, left, left turns that get you into the parking lot, but doesn't understand why he is left in the car. He would like to go in, he would like to find Grandma. I often wonder if he thinks that we have totally abandoned her. He would never abandon her, after all this time..... she must have a whole mountain of cookies to share:)