Kay volunteers at the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) and found Jesse, a Maltese mix, when she came in as a stray. Surprisingly, no one claimed the calm, sweet one-year-old dog and Kay scooped her up.
At Kay’s home, Jesse, now approximately two years old, joins Maggie, a Dachshund mix, and Chester, a Shih Tzu mix, who were also adopted from DCHS.
Kay is open to visiting a wide variety of facilities, but is mostly interested in the Sauk Prairie Hospital (near her home in Mazomanie) and the Read With Me program.
At DCHS, Kay works with newly admitted dogs and those in the behavior modification program. She also enjoys exercise and reading.
Our Wonderful Visits
Jessie and I have had so many wonderful visits. All of our visits to the UW campus and Edgewood College are amazing. The students appreciate our visits so much; it really makes their day. Many of them collect the dogs’ trading cards. One guy at the UW said he felt like a DOC groupie because he checks the calendars regularly and shows up whenever he sees there’s a visit. The welcome-back visit to Allen Centennial Gardens was one of my favorites. There were 13 dog teams and 900 students. We were all busy the whole time. I heard one guy making a phone call near me, and he said to whomever he was calling, “You have to come down here; there are dogs everywhere.”
A couple of visits to Meriter stand out.
We spent time in the psychiatry day room. There were two teenagers, a boy and a girl, in the room. They both got big smiles on their faces when they saw Jessie. The boy’s smile got even bigger when I asked if he wanted her to sit in his lap. He looked like he was in heaven when she rested her head on his arm. It was the same with the girl. She was really missing her dog and was really happy to see Jessie.
Another day, a nurse stopped us in the hall and said a patient had just had surgery that morning and was in a lot of pain. When she asked how he was feeling, he said he’d feel much better if he had his dogs with him. She asked me to stop in his room, and when I did, he was so happy to see her. He said he almost forgot his pain and petting her was exactly what he needed. His wife and daughters got their phones out and started snapping photos and came over to pet her, too. We always feel like the patients appreciate our visits, but this one was especially memorable.
Last week, a woman we visited said she was going to get emotional but that it wasn’t that she was sad but rather than she was so happy to have Jessie visit. She went on to tell me all about her dogs from the time she was a child, showed me pictures of the cat she has now, and, with tears in her eyes, she said she hoped we knew the depth of good this does for people.
My Read With Me visits are also really special. I’ve been going to the Lighthouse Christian School, and the kids there are willing to work very hard at their reading when they can read to Jessie. Having a dog makes it so easy to communicate with little ones. When the organizer brought one little girl to me, I could barely hear her say her name. When the organizer left, though, she never stopped talking and just loved Jessie. Another little girl was afraid of dogs, so they brought her to me since Jessie is so little. It took her a while, but eventually she petted Jessie and, at the end, had Jessie in her lap.
This program has been so wonderful for me. I’ve been able to visit to many places and people I would never have had the opportunity to visit without being part of Dogs On Call.
Spring 2020 Newsletter article by Kay & Jessie