Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Art of Just Being

Every now and then momma takes me to visit hospitals, nursing homes and hospice centers.  When I return from these trips I am often asked, "What do you do there Mattie?"  Well, here's what I do.....

I just be.  Sitting, allowing the moment to exist. 

My interactions are mellow, as I use my eyes and soft voice to communicate.  Most of my volunteer time is spent with the elderly or children who are sick, and in some cases passing from this earth.  They generally want the same things from me, to touch me and for me to stay with them.  Not to pet me as much as to touch me.  They place their hand on me and will move their fingers back and forth, but normally they touch me; and we can stay connected like this for quite some time.

It is in these moments that the people I visit become relaxed and have a venue to be free of their bodily discomfort.  These interactions allow the mind to free itself from the body, separate what is from what is not.  Momma says that if I sit with someone all day, and if for only a brief moment they float free, than it was worth our time.  I agree with this.

So, what I do on my visits is not all that unique.  It is what all animals do for humans....allow them to, well, just be.


  1. Oh sweetie - I didn't know you were a "therapy" dog so to speak. That is a wonderful service you perform. I'm sure you make lots of oomans feel much better just by being there.

  2. That is very sweet of you, Mattie. It makes me sad how many places don't allow pets when we can do so much good!

  3. Mattie, I didn't know it was possible to adore you even more. Well, you just never stop amazing me. You mean so much to all of us. You are caring, handsome, funny, sincere, hilarious, handsome, spunky, thoughtful.... oh and handsome. I could go on forever. I love you forever, Ginger

  4. You are a wonderful dude man! Proud to be your friend.

  5. That's awesome, Mattie! I didn't know you were a volunteer doggy, too. That's so sweet of you. But, then again, we should expect that, right? You ARE the Dr. O' Lub after all! *hugs*

  6. You should be very proud of the work you do. :)

  7. Mattie, thank you for everything you do to bring comfort to people during a difficult time. Having a caring friend like you at one's side makes such a big difference!

    Just wanted to let you know, in case your mom and dad haven't told you, that your story was featured in the February 2010 edition of Palliative Care Grand Rounds (hosted this month at the Alive Hospice Blog). PCGR is a monthly round-up of compelling blog entries focusing on hospice and palliative care and grief matters.


    We have dogs and cats and even a pony that come to visit Alive Hospice patients in Tennessee, and I've seen how special those visits are. Your four-legged friends in Tennessee asked me to say hello, and kudos to your Humans for bringing you to visit patients!