Wednesday

Touched by a Canine Angel



This weekend, Gilby and I attended our local Christmas Flea Market along with literally thousands of other people. Gilby insisted on walking and despite my qualms of letting a toy dog walk in a crowd I let him have his way. As a Certified Therapy Dog he was remarkable at manuvering among the throngs of people, wheelchairs, power scooters, shopping carts, walkers, large dogs and kids. In fact, his small size seemed to make him a kid magnet.
We had stopped for a while to chat with my friend Larry who is a seller at the market and shows Cavaliers when a family stopped and the mother asked if her son could pet Gilby. The shy little boy reached out and gently stroked him. His mother asked, ''Isn't he soft''?
The little boy nodded in silence. After a few minutes the mother thanked me and they began to walk away when suddenly the little boy turned back around to Gilby and shouted ''Look!''
Gilby cocked his head to the side quizzically ( we all said ''awww, how cute'') as the little boy told Gilby that his mother had just bought him this train engine.
He had a bad speech impediment which explained his reluctance to speak earlier...
Therapy dogs carry their skills with them wherever they go and Gilby never took his attention off of the little boy despite all the commotion going on around us. He looked him right in the face as the boy dropped to his knees and, oblivious to the adults standing around him, said to Gilby,'' and you know what else? Santa comes NEXT WEEK ! I hope he brings me more stuff for my train!''
For a brief few minutes this little boy overcame his obvious shyness and spoke in public...to a dog.
I think we were all kind of touched by the moment.

For more information on Certified Therapy Dogs check out the book 'Angels On a Leash' by David Frei