Today

Jessica,

I’m catching a cold and sure didn’t feel like going to volunteer at your facility, but I am glad I didn’t want to start making excuses. Yes, I understand how to not expose the elderly to germs and took care (retractable leashes are handy at times). What I found at your place reminded me why I continue to volunteer.

True, the volunteering is still training, technically. Yet, I’m well aware that Ari’s presence means a lot to some of the residents. Although I expected most to be home with relatives, I was surprised how many had returned. More seemed melancholic and in need of companionship than the anticipated few. I found one lady padding down a hall with a totally dejected expression. She literally started crying as I let her pet Ari. Situations like that are really why we keep coming back. I obviously didn’t leave after spending my customary hour there; I sat in the central area another 15 minutes to give Ari extra time to work her magic with the woman and a couple of others. A person’s final period in life is sad enough without spending it without companionship in a nursing home. I know you and Bethany do your best, but nursing homes will never be truly cheerful residences.

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