REFLECTIONS: Therapeutic, four-legged friends

I have been impressed a lot over the years, and a recent Family Night at Reed City’s Norman Elementary School was no exception. The gathering together of families with a meal to eat, things to do, fun to have and a safe place to be is wonderful.

So were the special somethings that happened at this particular one. One of those somethings was the presence of the “therapy dogs,” or “reading dogs” that are frequent guests. Those beautiful creatures spend time spending time. Little kids snuggle up next to them sometimes and practice their reading skills.

This particular time I grinned, then heard me giggle as one of the dogs wearing a ballerina outfit had the pretty little net tiara perched on its head slide around and promptly become a lovely blue beard. The look it gave me prompted a picture.

But so did something else, a very special happening for a whole lot of people. Spectrum/Reed City Hospital showed up in force. Doctors. Nurses. Little children got over some of the fear of going to see the doctor, simply because the doctors had a chance not to be so busy. The kids brought along stuffed toys to have the doctor check out. If they forgot to bring along one, there were plenty of extras nearby.

It’s all about communication and feeling the kindness. One little girl had no imaginary ailment for her stuffed animal, so the doctor suggested he do a wellness checkup. Then he announced it was a very healthy little critter. He was repaid by her first grin.

And there were the flu shots. Free. For the children and for the adults. The line was long. Few tears. Much thanks. It’s one of the ways Spectrum continues to reach out to the community, but it’s also a reaching within. Seeing how it can help in the health, help in the healing. What better place than to reach out to the little children, and touching the hearts of their parents and grandparents as well.

As a friend says, “It’s all good.” Sometimes it’s actually pretty all wonderful.