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Margaret

Margaret and Harley

Type of dog:

Standrard Poodle

Location:

NSW

Visits:

Belmont High School & St Lukes Calvary Silver Circ

Volunteering:

June 2011

Sponsored by:

Dogoverboard

I have to tell my story about how pleased I was attending my Red Bandanna visit with Margaret Jackson and her therapy dog Harley. What a fantastic experience and special privilege it was.

The first visit of the day was to Belmont High School.  Upon arrival when alighting from the car Harley donned an air of sophistication, head held high and tail flagged and wagging excitingly, giving me an idea of what was to follow.  As we walked from the car park, students began acknowledging Harley and Margaret, some asking “what designs are on his nails today” and coming over to pat and say hello – a very warm and fuzzy welcome.

From the sign in book at the office everybody that we met welcomed Harley and were really happy to see him.

We spent our morning in the school library where the students read to Harley, each giving one on one attention.  They all enjoyed his participation as they read their books and spelling words.  Each student took their seat alongside Harley and Margaret and from observations it was equally enjoyable to reader and listener.

One student recognised that Margaret’s Delta shirt had something new – yes it was Dogoverboard’s name and logo on the sleeve.  Showing that she noticed, meant a lot to Margaret, the teacher and of course me.  Margaret told me another special student, a boy, noticed the new sleeve logo last week when wearing it for the first time.  Sadly our morning had to finish and students, after their special Harley cuddles and pats said goodbye.

I felt very special to have been involved in the visit and to have experienced such a positive and rewarding program.

Our next visit was quite a contrast.  We opened the doors at St. Lukes Seniors Day Centre for the elderly, to be greeted by a roar of “hello Harley” from the seniors seated around tables finishing their morning teas.

Everybody wanted a pat and to see his famous painted nails.  Their faces lit up and one lady kept following Harley around.  She even had a photo taken to show her family.  Apparently she talks of Harley often and was very loving towards Harley.

Harley went around the tables to each person and got pats, cuddles and back scratches from the men and women.  Sometimes Harley gently lifted his paw to show interested people his nails. Lots of comments and conversation were had; Harley is certainly an icebreaker. Some of the folk told stories of their own dog experiences and all thoroughly enjoyed his company. I certainly heard a lot about a lady’s dog named Angel.

The group went to do some craft activities and Harley knew his place and would quietly stand for further pats whilst anybody wanted to touch him. Margaret busied herself by helping others not quite so dextrous at the craft table.  Her face always smiling – I’m not sure who enjoyed the activity more, the seniors, the staff, Margaret, Harley or me.

The spectrum of young to old that we visited, made me more aware of how special Delta dogs are – Harley can so easily make all ages happy.

I was thrilled to have experienced working with Margaret and Harley, two very big hearts helping others.  I appreciate the wonderful work being done by the Delta Society.  Thanks for the opportunity.

By the way, I wore my Bandanna with such pride!!


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