One of the stars of our local pet therapy organization, Paws with a Purpose, is a joyful Airedale named Pubb, who walks the hospital halls spreading smiles, comfort, and love to everyone he meets. Pubb and his “mom” Marti often visit pediatric cancer patients, as well as children who are about to undergo a forensic interview in situations of suspected child abuse. No matter why the child is at the hospital, Pubb’s furry medicine gives them the courage to face the often scary future. Pubb is estimated to be nearly 13 years old, and he recently passed his re-certification test as a Delta Society therapy dog, which is required every two years. On that occasion, Marti wrote the following heartwarming letter to the family who rescued Pubb. It’s a testament not only to Pubb, but to how a simple act of compassion continues to touch many lives.
April 18, 2010
You may remember that in 2003 you picked up an Airedale in a lot of trouble on the side of the road and named him Pubb. He was on three legs, weighed 30-some lbs, had little hair, battle scars, plenty of heartworms and every other possible parasite. You and your family nursed him through the most critical phase of recovery and then Airedale Rescue transported him to his foster family.
Let me say up front that this isn’t one of those sad letters written upon the death of a dog—he is absolutely fine and still acts like a puppy. Getting a little stiffer in his advancing years, but still would rather hike with me than breathe. Wrestles and plays endlessly with the three other Airedales in the house, and was the first to befriend the now-seven month old puppy Punch. His signature is a bulldozer-like move through one’s legs and he has been known to pick small people (I being one of them) off their feet. And when people hear how old he is (we guess about 13 now—estimates of his age when you rescued him were 5 to 7), they are in absolute disbelief.
Anyway, this is by way of a love letter from Pubb, and it’s by way of letting you know the ripples of good things your good deed created. For my own part, I don’t think there has been a day since he arrived that Pubb (also called Bubbie—Pubb morphed into an affectionate Pubba-Bubba and thus he answers to Pubby, Pubb, Bubbie, Bupps, Bubb, Pubbster, Boobert and the rattle of a food bowl) has not made me laugh aloud, and the value of a dog that can do that is inestimable. (more…)