My West Highland Terrier, Griffin, and I have been members of Dogs On Call, Inc. since 2005. During this time we have visited our share of nursing homes and hospitals and been a R.E.A.D. team. We enjoy our visits to different facilities and Griffin seems to like R.E.A.D. the best. We had started a program with a local library when we discovered Griffin had diabetes and because of the disease he was losing his sight. As his vision deteriorated and he began to have a little trouble negotiating around objects, I explained to the children at our R.E.A.D. program that Griffin was going blind. One little boy accepted this statement quietly then looked at Griffin, looked at the book we were reading and looked at Griffin again. Then he looked at me and said, “Would it help if I held the book closer to his face?” Barely keeping the chuckles out of my voice I told him to just read a little louder as Griffin would just prefer to listen to the book.
After his blindness I thought I would probably retire my dear Westie but as he still enjoyed having kids read to him, I decided to test him one more time. This past summer he passed the evaluation with flying colors and, though blind, tested complex. His adaptability to his handicap makes me appreciate the courage of those we visit who also have handicaps as they, too, adapt to life and its challenges.
Jan and Griffin