In the beginning of January, I mentioned in this post that I was looking forward to doing some volunteering this year with Hands on Charlotte. Well, this past Monday was my first official volunteer effort and it was a huge success. I signed up for an opportunity called Pet Visits in which well bahaved dogs and their owners make a trip to a nursing home to visit with the residents. I was somewhat nervous about taking Bog because although he is well bahaved 99% of the time, he tends to act out at the vet sometimes. With a similar tile floor, white walls, and sterile vibe as the vet, I was worried the nursing home might put him in the same place. But, I figured it was worth a shot. So, I headed over Monday night with Bog and a pocket full of treats in hopes to get the best out of him. He of course was just excited for a car ride. Oh, the simple mind of a canine.

When we arrived, there were a few other dogs and owners waiting in the lobby. A black lab named Finley, a golden retriever named Jordan, a poodle mix named Lucy, and a recue mutt named Lucky. Bog was definitely the smallest of the bunch. After getting aquanted with everyone, we went over the general guidelines. We would walk through the halls, knock on open doors and politely ask “Do you like dogs?” If they seemed interested, we would bring the dogs in one at a time to be pet and make small talk and then move on. Simple enough.

Lucky, the veteran of the group, led the way and we all paraded down the hall. The first few rooms were dog lovers and we were able to bring huge smiles to their faces. A few of them wanted to tell us about their dogs they used to have and asked if they could keep ours. The big dogs always got the same reaction, but then when I would bring Bog over, it was always some sort of “oh look at his wrinkles!”, “oh he’s so pudgy”, “oh that curly tail is so cute”, or my favorite “where is his nose?”. He was always greeted with a smile simply for the fact that he has that so-ugly-hes-cute thing going on.

And Bog LOVED it. The attention was like Christmas morning to him. He loved getting in the beds with a few of the residents and greeting those in wheelchairs. He would let them pet him and he would just wag that tail letting them know he was so happy to be there in that moment with them. They frequently called him a bull dog and a few even said they remembered him from last time. I just smiled and would agree knowing this was his grand debut at White Oak Manor and agreed to bring him back to see everyone again soon.

As we went from room to room, Bog would stay close and sit down right next to me as we waited for the other dogs to make their visits. It was like he just knew what to do. The nurses fawned over him and would ask if he snored at night. They all got a big kick out of him and he loved the attention of course. Not once did he jump up on anyone or act scared. It was like he knew he had a job to do and he did it. All the other dog owners couldn’t get over how well behaved he was and didn’t try to stray away like their dogs. He just knew to be calm and patient as we made our way through the building.

After about an hour and a half of visits, we all went our seperate ways and Bog finally got his reward treats in the car on the way home. I was so proud of him. I told a friend the next day that it almost felt like being the parent of the kid that won the spelling bee. He was a natural. And I’m proud to report we have already made plans to visit another area nursing home at the end of February. I’m hoping to make this a regular volunteer effort that we can help with. I got so much out of it and I dare say he did as well.

I didn’t take any photos at the home out of respect of the resident’s privacy. But I did Instagram this little gem of my sleepy boy on the back of the couch resting on my shoulder once we got home. Yes, he is really this sweet all the time. I’m one lucky dog owner. Ok, I’m done bragging now. Do you have any moments your animals have you bragging about them about? Please let me know I’m not alone in this.

sleepy bo