• Jillian Bleackley

Puppy Love


I have always wanted wanted a therapy dog. Asher and Charlie are as close as I will ever get.

Asher is a three-year-old labradoodle who was rescued by his owner, Orie. I am lucky enough to see his lovely face and gentle disposition every Tuesday. When I give him a treat, he jumps up on my chair. It’s a routine. I can hear his nails on the wood floor coming towards me. He wags his tail and grins, and he knows that I have something for him.

We live in a 12-bedroom house which is a little bungalow. We have our own rooms and he comes to visit us in these rooms, or in the hallways. Whichever we prefer.

Asher wears a St. John bandanna and is always happy. He also goes to the local hospital that is just in front of our little bungalow. He cheers up the elderly patients and he gets massaged by them as well as by me.

Asher is helpful because he calms us down and breaks up the day. He’s an emotional therapy dog. If I’m having a down day and I know that he’s coming, I immediately look forward to him. He helps with boredom.

Asher comes in at 2:30 and stays for about half an hour.

We have another dog who comes on Friday, a chihuahua and terrier mix named Charlie. Charlie is more of a calming presence, which is really ironic because when he first came to our house he was shaking like a leaf.

I also feed Charlie treats. His handler puts him on my lap and we just cuddle for a little bit. I’m not sure how old Charlie is. He is the ugliest dog but he’s also the cutest in that weird way.

Charlie will not jump up, but he will sit quietly in my lap. Charlie visits us Fridays at 2 pm and stays for half an hour also, visiting different residents besides me.

Please tell me your animal stories!

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