I thought I'd go visit my MIL in the nursing home early Sunday. I gave Charlie a bath and took him along.
I brought puzzle books and a card. I tucked Charlie under my arm as I made my way down the hallways. I was stopped my nearly everyone. Housekeeping, nurses, staff, and residents who wanted to see the 'puppy'. Charlie wagged his tail and loved all the petting.
We finally made it to MIL's room and Charlie greeted her with happy wags as she reached down to pet him. He eventually made it to her lap and laid down.
As MIL complained about the terrible beds, the boredom, and how 'nothing' was happening, her hands kept stroking Charlie's coat.
I've also learned with Alzheimer's that you just go with the flow. She told me repeats of the past few events and I listened. No matter that we'd had this conversation before. Her time line and my time line of events are different and that is okay, we still had a very nice visit.
She told me she was going home the next time she saw a doctor. She wanted to go home and sit in her chair and not be bothered and she wanted very strong pain pills.
I reminded her that he kidneys were so frail that they couldn't handle strong pain pills. She made a face and then I decided I should keep my mouth shut and let the pros handle it.
All the time, she just unconsciously pet Charlie and soon Charlie's eyes were droopy. The only time he looked concerned is when he could hear someone coming down the hallway.
When the visit was over I let Charlie walk down the hall on his leash. He is so low to the ground and has such a funny gate. However, he walked as if he owned the place.
Some housekeeping gals asked if the could pet him. Charlie walked up and sat by their feet while they rubbed his ears and talked to him. His tail swished and he sat still.
At the nurse's station, the gals came out and had to see Charlie. Then the residents in wheelchairs saw him and the crowd began to merge in on us. Charlie walked from one resident to another and sat at their feet if they put their hand down or spoke to him.
One lady insisted he was a Chicken. Well why not? Let Charlie be a Chicken. Ever person smiled. Frail shaking hands gently touched Charlie and Charlie just sat quietly.
How old is he? Asked a nurse.
Just over a year.
Please bring him back again.
We got through the group of residents and started down the hall. Charlie peered into each room to see if there was someone in it. I was told that Charlie could visit if they asked him in.
Funny that he'd pause for a bit at each resident's door and watch them, then move slowly on to the next.
Last stop was outside the lunchroom. More workers came out and all wanted to say hi. Charlie sat and seemed to relish the attention. He didn't wiggle, he didn't whine, he didn't bark. He just was like Charlie Zen.
I've concluded that Charlie has an old soul and really can tell things about people. When he meets most folks he is bubbly and excited but calms down quickly.
He seemed to know that all these folks wanted was to touch him and he seemed content and quiet.
On the ride home, he curled up in his car seat and slept.
Charlie, Chuckie, Charlie, Chicken, Puppy, Doggy, ... whatever name he goes by...he is really something special.
Someone said that Morris must have brought him into our lives.