Especially for Betty Cracker and LitlBrit, among others, a post-Marathon story from the Boston Globe:
On April 16 last year, the morning after, Mike Hurley walked into the surgical waiting room at Boston Medical Center, into a tense and dazed crowd of people desperate to hear how their loved ones were doing. And he brought with him a simple question: Do you want to pet a dog?…
Hurley politely told the families he would be available all day, and took Dexter, his 9-year-old boxer, to his office in the basement. Just before lunch, he grabbed Dexter’s leash, took a hard swallow, and returned to the waiting room with the same question: Would anyone like a visit from Dexter?…
Less than a week before, Hurley and Dexter had made their first appearance at Boston Medical Center, the inaugural duo in the hospital’s Healing Paws program, an experiment to see if dogs could provide in-hospital comfort to patients and families going through trauma and illness. Months before, Hurley had answered a hospital-wide e-mail looking for staff members willing to take their dog through the training. When the explosions occurred, he and Dexter had seen a total of four “trial patients.” No one was sure it would work. By the time Hurley and Dexter returned to the waiting room that afternoon for a third visit, there was a clear sign that it was: Several people had saved pieces of their lunch for Dexter….
Dexter has visited hundreds of patients and staff since the bombings. And Hurley has watched, again and again, as the simple magic of a slobbering dog has transformed moods on a bad day. Which is why Hurley, who is 46, says this has also been the best year of his life, the most meaningful.
One day recently, Hurley and Dexter were walking through a park near their home in the South End, and a homeless man looked like he was about to ask for money. Instead, as they passed, the man looked at Dexter and said: “That dog is the only visitor I had when I was in Boston Medical Center.”
There’s a picture of Dexter at the link. Apart from unexpected eye-watering allergies, what’s on the agenda for the new week?