Starbuck passed her therapy dog exam when she was a year old. She was born for this job. When she was a tiny pup she would cry if she spotted a person across the street who didn't come over to pet her.
About a year ago, while she was visiting a retirement home, a women found out she was terminally ill. She had the staff find Starbuck to help her deal with this awful news. We visited her every week until she passed away. That was a really hard time for me. For months Starbuck would stop at her door and try to go in to visit.
Although there are tough times, it is great to see how happy the residents are to see us. What I find amazing is that when we visit with residents who are suffering from dementia, they seem to all remember Starbuck - to the point that they place Starbuck as being around when they were much younger. They think that she was either their dog or a neighbor's dog. There have been patients who will cry and never speak coherently, but they will smile and actually talk when they visit with Starbuck!
It just amazes me to see how much of an impact one tiny dog can make to so many people. Recently she visited the library at UT during finals week to give the students a stress-free study break. She had hundreds of students visit her, most of which took their picture with her.
Here are some pictures from her visit;
Anyone else have a therapy dog?