Let me say right off, Opie is a natural healer. He has the Pino gene.
He strutted in there in his I'm a big boy now way and greeted everyone. We sat out in the home's lovely patio and started to get to know our new friends. We really had a wonderful visit and are so looking forward to getting to know the residents on a more personal level. Already, after a one hour visit, I feel inspired and refocused on making my life here in Maine about bringing animal and people-especially elders-together for mutual healing and sharing of story.
Even in one hour, the personalities of the residents began to emerge. I wonder what their life stories are? I hope to work on that over time, and share their stories. So many people look at elders as...being at the end of the line, finished with doing new things, or uninteresting. I see elders as a unique vessel of knowledge and experience, a child that continued on and led a long life, a human on a journey-with so many stories. Imagine if Abe Lincoln had lived to be 90 and was sitting on a park bench and nobody stopped to talk to him-what a waste! Why do we listen to the young, marvel at the child in the room talking, or the thirty something with a brilliant new novel, but we as a society in the whole aren't excited to sit and listen to our elders?
Well, Opie was excited. He does not choose who to share himself with based on their age, looks or physical limitations [just ask Sir Tripod Goat]. I am really excited to begin this new relationship. I plan to visit twice a month on Thursdays. We are also hoping to have a farm visit in the near future.
Opie's presence immediately brought out smiles. We all had something in common, despite our age differences-we all were inspired to touch and pet Opie. That led us to talking, about lots of things. There were a couple of really shy people there, or, maybe shy is not the right term-I need to interact more over the coming visits to get to know each person.
We also talked about bringing Pino and other Apiferians which was met with excitement. As we said our goodbyes, one of the residents made me promise we'd come back. And we will. Over and over. This is a covenant I have made internally with them. I learned way back when I used to take my old blind pug to visit with Rose, a resident of an assisted living facility, that I really thrive when I can have a smaller group to interact with, and it made it special to get to know Rose one on one. Just as Wednesdays became a light for Rose knowing the pug was coming, I hope that the residents of Wiscasset Green will wake up and think,
Oh good, it's Opie Day!
Warning: this is an ongoing fluid project for me and Opie and the other Apiferians. Stay tuned on this new adventure of our animal therapy.
|This is Joe, he was so sweet and Opie rested on his shoulder|
|"You are so cunning'" she told Opie.|
|He gave and received kisses|
|This resident was very reserved but hopefully we will get to know her heart.|