In 2013, Abby came into my life after the loss of my mother, and my little girl of 13 ½ years, a rat terrier named Lucy. I was looking for a calm dog to be a companion for Lucy’s surviving littermate, Linus. New Rattitude, a rat terrier rescue, located Abby living with an elderly couple. A few months earlier, the couple found Abby abandoned, tied to a flagpole at a rest area. Although the couple loved Abby dearly, they were unable to provide for her needs and wanted her to have a good home. The wife described Abby as “Personality Plus” because of her bubbly nature. She was right. Abby brought sunshine back into our lives with her cute and innocent mannerisms. However, Abby also has a soulful side to her personality when she looks into your eyes.
One day, I came home from work to find a paper towel with a cutout heart in the middle. This might have been her way of saying, “I love you” or it could have been a tasty morsel left behind. Regardless, I tucked “Abby’s Artwork” away in her scrapbook.
Soon after adopting her, I enrolled Abby in behavior training classes. We formed a special bond that eventually led us to Pet Partners. After passing the evaluation, we began visiting residents at a small nursing home for Catholic Nuns. Abby loved snuggling in their laps and receiving wonderful massages. We also visited a summer camp for deaf children and attended a local university’s stress relief event during final exams week. Abby was proving to be a “well rounded” therapy dog.
In 2016, I began taking Abby to a pediatric clinic for children with special needs. Abby’s calm nature and silly personality brings giggles, along with encouragement and focus to these children as they participate in therapy.
In the beginning, Abby provided therapy to me. Now she shares her special talents with others.
Story provided by Kathy Ardoin and Pet Partners of Acadiana