Therapy Bulldog Cheers Heartswritten by: Daniel Weese on Facebook Meet Margie, a Bulldog out of Wisconsin. She had her start in the arena and like her father, Ch. Cherokee Legend Rock, Margie is a prize- winning Bulldog. After some very successful years performing in the ring, Margie's owners wanted to breed her in hopes of preserving what they considered to be a Bulldog of superb quality. Sadly, it was discovered Margie was infertile. Margie's true calling was waiting just around the corner. Margie the show dog is retired, but in some ways, her most important work has only just begun. For the last two years, Margie, with help from her owner Andy, has been visiting the less fortunate in Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
When I get her blue vest out she knows it's time to go. She gets so excited and starts running around in circles. Everyone knows Margie by name, but I'm just the man at the other end of the leash, Andy said as he laughed.
Big Dog in a Little BedAndy also found humor in telling me that often times the patients request Margie be put into the bed with them. These beds are small and narrow, but Margie isn't bashful. It's true, no sooner than a few minutes after she's squeezes into bed with one of the patients and snuggles up close to be pet, Margie's snoring on top of the poor person. Anyone who has an English Bulldog would instantly agree, "That's a Bulldog thing." Like Margie on Facebook! Margie's extremely accomplished and dedicated as a therapy dog and recently made it into Therapy Dogs Magazine. Andy said of Margie's dedication, whether it be blistering heat or shivering cold temperatures, she insists on making her rounds.
You always hear her snorting and breathing, those short legs carrying her heavy frame down the long hallways. She's not your ordinary therapy dog.Margie is stationed on the second floor of Waukesha with cancer patients, but she also visits a summer camp for young burn victims and participates in the Read with Rover program in local schools and day-cares.
Margie Saved That GirlWhen asked if he could recall a moment when he felt Margie had been most influential to a person in need, a time when he thought, " that experience made it all worth while", Andy had no shortage of inspirational stories. Andy quickly brought to mind a little girl, maybe 5 years old. She had been admitted for close to two weeks when someone at the hospital specifically requested Margie come for a special visit. Most of Margie's work is done with adults, so Andy was surprised to see a little girl when he arrived. . They walked into the room and Margie quickly became acquainted with the girl and her mother. The little girl, sick of her bed, decided she would like to play with Margie on the floor. The nurse unhooked her from the machines and helped her off the bed, plopping her down beside Margie. In only a few moments the two had become friends and the girl was giggling and showering Margie with kisses to the face. Suddenly, the young girl's Mother imposed. She asked her daughter, "Wouldn't it be fun for you and Margie to eat some pudding together?" The girl smiled and agreed. At this point the nurses and the little girl's mom were getting curiously excited. Andy stood there, Margie's leash in hand, allowing Margie to work her magic. Realizing the pudding was gone, mom quickly announced, "I know, how about we try some jello?" Once again, the girl thought that was a splendid idea. Margie and her new friend playfully ate through the jello just as they did the pudding.
It was this momentAndy was enjoying the interaction, but from the Mother's excitement, he could tell there was something more going on inside that cramped hospital room. This visit was anything but typical but it was time for Andy and Margie to say their goodbyes. The girl's mom followed Andy and Margie into the hallway. Andy presumed she had walked out to thank them one last time for coming. Tears streaming down her face, she joyfully exclaimed to Andy,
Before Margie came today, my little girl hadn't eaten anything for a whole week!Andy never learned the details of the girl's medical condition, but he was determined if there was ever a time he felt fulfilled in the work he and Margie were doing, surely that day was the day. Here's how your dog can get involved. TherapyDogsInc I personally spent 10 days in the burn unit of Akron Children's Hospital after receiving 3rd degree burns from my knees down to my toes. I can say from experience, that with each new therapy dog I saw, my spirit was revived. The use of dogs in therapy has been proven to allow for more effective physical and mental healing. Seeing and petting the dogs during my time in the burn unit brought me tears of joy and hope. Wouldn't it be awesome if you and your Bulldog could redeem the time helping those in need like Margie does? Take a few minutes to learn more about Margie and her exciting work as a therapy dog. Andy has a few more incredible stories I'm sure he would love to share with you. Visit her facebook page. Who knows, maybe your Bully can bring smiles back to the lives of hurting people in your local hospital or senior center!
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