Through the eyes of a therapy dog…Toby’s take on Cedar Village
Well, let me take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Toby, the therapy dog at Cedar Village. I’m an English Cream Golden Retriever, I’m just about 2 years old and my mommy is Debi Tyler, Director of Rehabilitation.
When I come to work every day, my job is to visit the residents and rehab clients. It’s so fun; I get to walk around and give kisses and hugs to all my friends, sniff around the place and enjoy the interesting smells and best of all, if I’m lucky I find crumbs on the floor and I get an unexpected snack! I’m not allowed in the deli, because I might just eat up everybody’s lunch, so finding those little morsels on the floor is heaven!
So what do I do every day? It’s “ruff”. Just kidding…dog humor! People are coming into rehab to get their physical and occupational therapy, working on getting stronger after accidents or an illness. It’s hard work for them, and it’s my job to bring a smile to their face and help them get through the difficult parts. What’s special about me is, I have arthritis and joint problems (despite being just a pup) and I’m pretty sore a lot of the time; it’s not fun, but I think it helps my human pals know that we can relate. Listen, if they can do all those squats and weight lifting and stationary bike riding, then I know I can get up too and make the most of my day. I walk around, offering a head to pat, a belly to rub, a wagging tail, and of course, providing my special doggy encouragement. Sometimes my mommy takes me up to visit people upstairs, and you should see their faces light up when I walk by! They call to me and scratch my ears and it’s heaven – for all of us!
I have to admit though; some days are lazy days. Just the other day, I had someone come to visit who wanted to see me “on the job” and I just wasn’t feeling it. Not many people were around rehab so I decided it would be more fun to plop down on the floor and rest. One of the therapists tossed me my toy turtle, and I got up once or twice to get it but after that…rest time for Toby! When she tossed it to me and it wasn’t close enough to reach by snout or paw, I had to bark to get her to bring it to me. Let’s be honest- I can’t work ALL the time. Sometimes a boy just has to lay down and take a rest. My joints are aching and you know what, I think the clients in rehab know just how I feel. It takes a team to get us all back to fighting form, dogs or humans. And that’s just what the Cedar Village rehab team does!
I really like working at Cedar Village; for me, spending time with residents and rehab patients is the best. When people see me walk by, it brightens their day; and when they see me struggle to get up, they can empathize and know that together, with the rehab team, we will all be our best selves just as soon as we can. Canines and humans are a lot alike: we like good food, a good walk and at the end of the day, a good cuddle on the couch. When you are at Cedar Village, stop by rehab and pay me a visit – I love meeting new friends. And if there is something I can do to make your rehab experience better, you just let my Mommy Debi Tyler know.
This is Toby, signing off. Animal Planet is about to air “Bad Dog,” and I need to grab a bone and get ready to relax.