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An Unlikely Place

by Leslie Dotson
reprinted from NewfTide 1Q 2009

My Landseer Newfoundland, Kiredor’s Second Chance, CGC, TDI, otherwise known as Rosie, was an accomplished therapy dog, who excelled at the work she loved doing—giving special Newfie hugs and kisses to those in need. She worked with autistic children, school children who needed a little extra help with reading, as well as children that had been severely physically and emotionally abused. I was always proud of my Rosie and the therapy work she did.

However, therapy work doesn’t always happen in “traditional” settings where one might expect. Sometimes it happens in the most unlikely of places!

I had the incredible experience of seeing what therapy work one Newfoundland had accomplished over five generations!

Newfoundland Therapy Dog

Leslie Dotson and Rosie at the annual
SCNC Christmas tree pull.

South Central Newfoundland Club holds a Christmas Tree Pull at Dull’s Christmas Tree Farm outside of Lebanon, Indiana, every December as a fundraiser for our rescue program. At the 2004 Tree Pull, Rosie was outfitted in a jingle bell harness and hooked to a gorgeous wooden sled. She was the photo opportunity Newf—
the Newf that knows how to smile and beam in front of the camera! There was a long line of people waiting in the cold to pet her.

I was surprised to see two extremely frail, elderly ladies patiently waiting their turn. When their time finally came, one of them started crying as she reached towards Rosie. She held Rosie’s head, rocking Rosie back and forth, with her face buried into Rosie’s face. Rosie, being very wise, knew what the lady needed. When the woman finally looked up through her tears, she told me that she had waited all of her life to meet a real Newfoundland. Her eyes then glowed as she told me her story.

Newfoundland Therapy Dog

Rosie shows that therapy work is all about hands on and kisses.

When her great-great-grandfather was a young child, he had fallen through the ice on the family pond during a winter storm. The situation looked hopeless. The family’s Newfoundland then crashed through the cold water and pulled the boy to safety. For five generations, the family had passed on the heroics and amazing saga of that Newfoundland from so very long ago.

As the woman rocked and hugged Rosie, the brave Newfoundland of the family’s history shone through and lived once again through Rosie’s eyes. What a noble dog he must have been!

My beloved Rosie passed away last year, and it is my hope that she has met that hero Newfoundland-of-old at the Rainbow Bridge.

 

 

 

 

reprinted from 1Q NewfTide 2009 pp 11- 21

 

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