You know, I only started my blog when I was 5yrs old and there was all my life in NZ before that, which I never got a chance to blog about…
…so me & Hsin-Yi had a good idea: we’re going to start doing these special ‘Memories of NZ’ posts from time to time, so that I can share some of my life from the time before I started my blog, with you.
Here is a little movie from my life back in NZ that I haven’t had a chance to show you on my blog yet This was when me and my human, Hsin-Yi, were asked to go on national breakfast TV!
Yup, see – when we were in living back in Auckland, I worked as a Therapy Doggie and went to visit patients in a rehab centre for people who hurt their brains or spines and couldn’t move around easily.
I was a really good height for people to pat in a wheelchair and I also didn’t mind “rough handling” – ‘coz some of the patients couldn’t always control their hands and legs very well, so they might mean to pat me but end up bashing me on the head instead. But that’s OK – I’m a really confident doggie and bounce back very quickly from being “startled” so I was really good for doing this sort of visiting. I made lots of the patients very happy and I used to help them with their “mobility exercises” – like getting them to throw a ball for me or even just stroking me.
I also visited a special facility for human pups who had come from bad homes and had bad things done to them – or done bad things themselves. I showed them that you don’t have to get grumpy or ‘aggressive’ as a way to solve problems and they loved playing with me and grooming me and doing my tricks with me.
I tried visiting senior humans in resthomes too but that didn’t work so well ‘coz their bedrooms were so small that I couldn’t turn around once I went in and my wagging tail used to knock all their precious china ornaments off their tables! Plus I like to Shake Paws – I often give my paw by myself, without being asked – but senior humans have very thin, fragile skin so my claws might have scratched them badly. Hsin-Yi used to get very stressy at each visit and keep worrying that I was going to hurt someone or break something. So we stopped going after a while – although they really missed me and kept calling Hsin-Yi, asking when I was going to go back!
I loved doing my therapy work and I loved being part of the Outreach Therapy Pets team! This was a joint group between St John NZ and the SPCA. I made lots of good friends from the other therapy doggies too and we used to go on playdates, sometimes, after our visits. Aside from our usual visits, we also attended “special events” from time to time, to represent Outreach Therapy Pets and tell more people about the work of therapy pets. I always got a lot of attention, coz I was the biggest doggie on the team!
So one day, they called us to say that Outreach Therapy Pets had been invited on breakfast TV to tell more people about their work – and would I be their SpokesDog? How exciting!! So me & Hsin-Yi went to the TV studios and there was a big ambulance machine parked outside and we had to wait inside for a loooooong time until it came to my turn – and then suddenly they opened the doors and we had to “pop out” and say our piece!
Well, Hsin-Yi did
most all of the talking, really – I got a bit distracted ‘coz I smelled something interesting under the stretcher in the ambulance and kept wanting to stick my nose under to investigate. So you can see me in the video keep sticking my head behind Hsin-Yi and not looking at the camera machine – she was awfully embarrassed and had to keep pushing my head back into place! Still, I did redeem myself by licking Tamati Coffey‘s face and making lots of people laugh – he is a famous TV presenter in NZ and we think he is quite hunky!
Well, here is the movie of my moment on national breakfast TV! (Oh, how we miss the Kiwi accents!)
If the movie doesn’t play, try here: http://youtu.be/Vw-D9FQZi_U
Since moving to Australia, we haven’t joined any therapy pets group – mainly because we just keep moving from city to city constantly and Hsin-Yi is always too busy & stressy and has too much on her plate already…we barely settle down in a new city before it’s time to start packing again! But next year will hopefully be our last move. So once we finally settle down, we think we might look into joining a therapy pets team again.
I hope it won’t be a problem, though, coz we heard that the Delta Society in America doesn’t let pets on the Raw Diet join their teams ‘coz they say there is more bacteria on them (such rubbish! All doggies have bacteria on them, no matter what they’re fed and if the patients were that weak / immuno-compromised, they shouldn’t be meeting any animals or general people anyway!! We heard some other people whisper that the real reason was because the Delta Society was being sponsored by a big kibble company?!) - well, we don’t know if this is true but that’s what we heard. So we’re not sure if the Delta Society in Australia would think the same way. If they did, then we wouldn’t be able to join.
But anyway, Hsin-Yi says at the rate that we’re going, by the time we’re settled, I’ll be such an old doggie – I might need therapy visits myself! Ha! Ha!