Therapy Thursday: Saying Goodbye

Willie and I found out yesterday that our friend Mr. Joe passed away. It’s interesting to me that I found this out the same day that Willie mysteriously stopped eating. Now, I know what you are going to say about the subtext of that statement, but what if there is some way that he knew that his friend had passed on.

The time we spent with Joe was special for both of us. Joe was patient and willing to guide us as Willie learned to be a therapy dog andas I learned to be a therapy dog handler. Willie started to pout when he couldn’t go to work because of scheduling. There was something about putting on that vest and getting in my car to head out to Lexington that made his German Shepherd nature come alive.

Mr. Joe certainly wasn’t the only person we visited with at the retirement center, but it will be hard for both of to go back and not walk down the hall to Mr. Joe’s room. Willie will miss the treats, the nap, and the good ear scratches. I will miss the stories and reflections on life.

Rest in peace, Mr. Joe. We miss you.