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  • Writer's pictureDianne Hammontree



"Oh, how I longed to introduce Joseph to my friend John," I reminisce. With John residing in a pet-friendly apartment, the opportunity for a puppy rendezvous presented itself, and off we ventured. Joseph, intuitively sensing his new companion, wasted no time in making himself at home. He gracefully maneuvered onto John's substantial wheelchair, showered him with affectionate licks, and nestled snugly into his lap for a serene morning nap.


Our adventures didn't end there. Eager to spread joy beyond our circle, we decided to pay a visit to a local nursing home. Maneuvering through the labyrinthine hallways, replete with wheelchairs and stretchers bearing the weight of elderly and infirm residents, felt like navigating a challenging obstacle course. Adjusting Joseph's leash, we commenced our journey down the corridor. Suddenly, a clamor erupted, "A dog! A dog!" In an instant, we found ourselves encircled by wheelchair-bound patients, each eager to make the acquaintance of Joseph.


Squatting down, I enveloped Joseph in a protective embrace. He leaned into me reassuringly as a young man, his eyes gleaming with excitement, hastened toward us. With an awkward yet endearing gesture, he extended his hand to tenderly pat Joseph, erupting into fits of joyous laughter. Soon after, an elderly lady approached, her eyes brimming with nostalgia. "May I pet him too?" she inquired softly. Joseph, ever the gentle soul, obliged, eliciting fond memories from the lady. "He's so soft," she mused, "I once had a dog named Joy."


As Joseph continued his rounds, more residents joined in, each sharing their own tales and laughter. With each interaction, Joseph's demeanor seemed to elevate, his spirits soaring as he pranced about, his head held high, basking in the adoration he received.


Upon our departure, a profound sense of contentment enveloped us. I made a silent vow to return and witness those radiant smiles more often, reflecting on the invaluable lesson my furry companion had imparted. Back home, Joseph retreated to his bed, his weary yet satisfied frame a testament to the joy he had spread. What a remarkable companion he was! I couldn't help but wonder who we would encounter on our next excursion.




Dianne Hammontree

Secretary of Homeward Bound, Inc.


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