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Lil Monk makes a Difference


Lil Monk, a playful sensitive dachshund, and I are part of a healing organization called Hand in Paw. We visit the Geriatric Psychiatric Unit at the University of Alabama Medical Center. With her tail wagging and her head held high Lil Monk knew that this visit was going to be extra special. With a hopeful heart we went over to a fragile old man, whose hands were being restrained by his son. As the younger man sat there with those sad eyes I knew we could make a difference. With a cheerful tone in my voice I inquired, "Do you like dogs?" The weathered man responded "NO", again I questioned, "You mean you never even had a hound dog?" With a triumphant response he declared, "I had me a bird dog one time." Reaching into that common ground I announced "Lil Monk likes birds." He smiled. I asked the son to let go of his hands. He said, "He might hurt your dog." With a trusting heart my voice echoed, "No he will not, for Lil Monk has been especially trained for this kind of work." I placed Lil Monk on the tray in front of the old man and as his hands reached out, somehow a transformation took place. His hands flowed over Lil Monk like water over river rocks and he smiled. I looked and the son and somehow we all had a communal healing. After a couple of minutes I told him we had to go and thanks for allowing us to visit. As I was leaving I noticed someone was walking behind me. Yes, it was the son. He looked and me and said with a tearful tone, "Thanks for coming today. You let me see my Daddy happy one more time. I just thought that would never happen." With a thankful heart, I replied, "It was our privilege, somehow Lil Monk makes a difference in other people's lives just like she does mine every day."

DeJuana M.
Birmingham, AL

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