Thursday, 27 February 2014

Teesha's Story

I was once asked "Do you have any dramatic moments with your dog"   How do you define a dramatic moment, I couldn't think of any to talk about,  yet,  I  know she has a great affect on people, my mind was a blank, but that's my mind, hers, well who knows what she thinks as she spreads her magic and this story is all about her, a very special dog.

We had just lost the youngest of our two dogs leaving us with Ailsa our 13 year old,  we had to get another dog before she left us but a puppy would be to much for the old girl to handle so it would have to be an older rescue, breed didn't matter but with a soft spot for the Rhodesian Ridgeback we started with them, because of age and less mobility I had long before decided I wanted to do therapy work with the next dog we had so all I asked for was a good temperament, boy or girl, up to 2 yrs, a few phone calls back and forth and news of a dog being returned to the breeder came to us, she the dog (not the breeder) was climbing over the fence and chasing sheep, a photo was sent and all we could see where the eyes looking into our soul, sheep or not we were hooked.  She was younger then we wanted but it took a couple of months for her to arrive so as she reached the age of 14 months we waited at the Airport for the plane  to land, we watched as the trolley whisked a couple of dog cages to the pick up area then rushed to find our new family addition, all we could do was wipe away tears as we waited for the cage to be opened, she was so very thin with full blown mastitis and vaginitis yet wriggled from head to tail in excitement as if she had known us for ever as we gently got her out for a leg stretching walk. We were in love.

The strong prey drive meant she was kept on a leash when out specially at night then on the second day with us after getting out of a pen that had over the previous 20 years safely held 1 Houdini pointer x , 1 cocker spaniel and 3 RRs  in the process  reducing our chicken flock in half we realised  there was a lot of work to do, sweet, gentle and pure love she may be but she was still a dog that needed a job.

She had been with us about a month when we decided she had enough ribs covered to take her into town, that was our first encounter with Delta therapy dogs, I knew about them but had never actually seen any of them around, she introduced herself as if she belonged and we left with brochure and phone numbers.

Five months after arriving to us she passed her Delta assessment, the eyes that first drew us in work there magic to dozens of people every week, she walks into a room were someone may be smoothing there clothes in a world of there own then they glance towards her and there face lights up, she can go into a lounge room scan a group sitting there and home in on those who need and want her, she greets all one by one very rarely going up to those who fear her and never missing anyone she has met before, she offers unconditional love, is  non-judgmental interacting easily with everyone, she is so relaxed that seeing and touching her encourages the resident to become relaxed also, she interacts without the need for words so is such a positive for people who don’t wish  to or can’t talk, she inspires conversation, laughter and fun, she allows people to reminisce about there previous life with there own pets  allowing even the shy to interact with me and others around them. 
She doesn't gush and climb all over people, just gently lays her muzzle on there knee while they pat and talk to her, she  looks into there eyes so for that fleeting moment they are the most important person in her world, she shifts the focus and attention of residents away from themselves, there pain, depression or feeling of isolation.  Her gentleness with the very frail is imposable to write about, the placing of her head under the hand of those who can’t see her well,  the concentration on her face as she studies the face of those who find it difficult to talk, the sadness in her eyes when someone has gone.

When she has said her hellos she lays down at there feet relaxed and content until we move on to the next person.  When I first started to write this I said I couldn't think of any "dramatic moments" now I realise that's because there are to many to pick from starting from the time we first saw her picture looking at us from the computer screen, though ever cautious for some reason we never questioned her suitability, we just knew she was the dog, our dog,  she came with a suitcase of  little problems some she is still unpacking but her sweet gentleness and  love shines through them all.   She will decide when she no longer wants to go visit, it's her call but for now the name TEESHA often echoes in the corridors of the homes she visits from both the residents and staff.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Teesha and Tilly

    Two working girls, resting between dutys of hugs, cuddles and strokes at the Ulverstone Rotary Day in the Park.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Trying to restart

Its been very difficult to get this blog going again. I love to visit you all and see what you have all been up to,  its not that Teesha never gets up to anything, well not to much but it really is the dogs blog,  everything is said tongue in cheek yet…. well the dogs aren’t really writing it are they ..or well it really depends on the dogs.

Brodie was the one who started it. Ok it was his skin sis and I, but it was through the eyes of Brodie, fact is he was a clown, it was easy to project what would be his thoughts.  Ailsa put in her bit, she was miss prim, always keeping an eye out never missing a thing, then there was Burtie the overseer always there with one or the other. They were a team, one by one they left us.

Ailsa and Burtie took Teesha into the fold showed her around and helped her settle in, it was amazing to watch how they cared for each other and how gentle Teesha was as Ailsa became more frail. Burtie never fully recovered from Ailsa’s crossing but he kept to his routine of never missing morning tea and following the sun, then one day he sounded a bit chesty, the big C had got him.

Teesha loves to run and given the chance, chase,  cuddles her toys, has a preference for pinks and lime greens, she at sometime or other had her spirit broken yet is  pure gentle love that she spreads out to everyone she meets,  she doesn’t play, she has meal time problems, she never barks or makes any but the quietest  noise, shaking hands is her only trick, she has separation anxiety, she’s a little princess, not quite as easy to project as the clown.

When Burtie passed on, the mice moved in, fed by the biscuits the princess drops around the place, along came Bindie, a cat with tortatude, you can see how we decided on her name, she was a rescue at the vets were she was a rescue from a drowning, if it moves its prey, including the princess's tail, we have great fears her time is limited should the snake scarers not work. She and Teesha have come to a mutual agreement, 18 months of teaching Tesh not to chase has been undone by a cat who actually entices  her to.

We will try to keep you updated on what we are doing, not sure if anyone visits anymore but no matter, it will be a reminder of the things they do.
The Mum