Love on a leash
Sammy is my three-and-a-half-year-old basset hound. He fills our lives with so much joy, and we notice all the smiles he brings out in everyone. He's a real "Love On a Leash.” So why keep it all to ourselves when we can share his joy with others — especially those in need of being cheered up?
Chandler Convalescent Home in North Hollywood, California, is a home for seniors who need help to live and get care in their old age. Many of the seniors have no visitors or family or any fun in their day. We decided it's a perfect place for a visit from Sammy.
We got a bunch of flower-shaped lollipops at the store and drove down to the Chandler Convalescent home. The first person we saw was John Witherspoon. He's a 64-year-old man who fought in the Vietnam War. He was sitting outside enjoying the sun when he saw Sammy come up to him and gave him a big slurp! I handed him a lollipop and we talked about his favorite band, the Beatles.
When we walked into the entrance, it was quiet. There were some TVs on in the background, but not much cheerfulness. Then as soon as the people saw Sammy, it was smiles everywhere! One lady, named Theresa, was sitting in her wheelchair started waving and clapping when she spotted Sammy trotting down the hall. He was the life of the whole place — Mr. Popular!
Another lady, Mable, was having a snack in her bed and wasn't able to get up, but Sammy went over and stood up on the side of her bed and licked her hand. She gave him some of her sandwich.
We met many nice people who live there, like Joy and Marci who like doing puzzles. They asked if we would bring a picture of Sammy next time for their room.
It was so much fun to see what a difference we could make. We made lots of new friends too. Sammy really did all the work. He deserves extra gravy on his dinner all week!
I hope Sammy inspires you and your family to give back in your neighborhood. There are people everywhere who are in need of a smile and love. Just a little goes along way. I know because it only took a half-hour of our day, and it made a difference in so many lives!
Photo: Kid Reporter Damien Murphy with Sammy, his basset hound, and John Witherspoon, a resident of Chandler Convalescent Home in Norht Hollywood, California. (Courtesy Damien Murphy)