• Our First Therapy Dog Visit

    January 24, 2013

    Hello, hello!

    Yesterday, Murphy and I had our very first Therapy Dog visit and it went really well! Murphy was a natural. I’ll tell ya all about it right after I recap lunch.

    Lunch

    Lunch was a turkey burger (cut up) with sautéed mushrooms, peas, and chopped spinach with a big scoop of basil avocado. Remember when I had that delicious basil avocado on my tuna burger at Rustic Kitchen the other day? Well, I loved it so much, I had to try recreating it at home.

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    My attempt was good, but not quite what I tasted at Rustic Kitchen—something’s definitely missing. My basil avocado puree needed more… salt? I dunno. Here are the rough estimates of the ingredients that I used:

    • 1 ripe avocado
    • a bunch of basil (8-10 leafs)
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp pepper

    I definitely liked my basil avocado puree, but I think it can still be improved. I bought two avocado and have some leftover basil, so I’m going to attempt to make it again. I’ll report back!

    After lunch, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a Medjool date. Again, I wish dates looked as pretty as they tasted.

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    After lunch, it was time to take Murphy for his very first visit. To prepare, I…

    • Doubled-check that I had his business cards and medical records (to prove that he’s on the straight and narrow)
    • Cleaned the eye boogers off his face
    • Packed a plastic baggie full of treats (Murphy listens really well when food is involved)
    • Swapped Murphy’s regular leash for his special 4-foot leash

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    And then it was time for a ride in the car to go visit!

    Pug Therapy Visit

    There’s a senior home pretty close to where we live, so I’ve been in contact with the Activities Coordinator about visiting once a week with Murphy. She loved the idea, so we met yesterday and took Murphy around the facility for a trial run to see how he would act in this type of setting. Like I said, the pug was a natural, and he did such an awesome job! Seriously, I sort of think he was meant to do this. Everyone loved him (obviously, he’s wicked cute), but pretty much every person we approached to make a visit, he happily walked right up to their feet or let me pick him up so they could pet him for as long as they wanted. Murphy is kind of a spastic dog at times, but he was semi-mellow around the old folks. I’d never say “mellow” because he’s just not that type of dog when new people are around, but he was definitely on good behavior during our visit.

    Everyone we met (residents, staff, and visitors) was so excited to see Murphy. People’s faces literally lit up when they saw us walking toward them. It made me so happy to see Murphy bringing so much joy to someone’s day.

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    After about 35-40 minutes, I could tell Murphy was starting to get tired (he wasn’t as focused as when we first arrived), so we said goodbye and headed home for the day. Visiting is a hard work for a little pug!

    Of course, when we got home, Murphy was rewarded appropriately for his hard work. He got two treats yesterday!

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    Snack

    As an afternoon snack, I ate a sliced banana with sunflower butter.

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    Dinner

    For dinner, Mal grilled up some flatiron steak, which I topped with sautéed mushrooms and crumbled feta. On the side, I had some steamed green beans and Sweet Potato Wedges. It was a fabulous dinner!

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    After dinner, I enjoyed a Brownie in a Mug because it’s the best dessert ever. My friend Kerrie really is a genius.

    Question of the Day

    When Murphy and I were visiting yesterday, we met an elderly gentleman, who was hard of hearing. He asked me Murphy’s name, and I replied, but he thought I said “Murky” instead of “Murphy.” I tried to correct him, but then he told me how much he liked the name “Murky” for a dog, so I just left it alone. It is sort of a cute name, right?

    Has anyone ever mixed up your name?

    Over the years, I’ve had people call me “Gina” and “Trina.” Mal gets “Mel” and “Matt” all the time.

    P.S. My favorite camera is on sale! Well, ok, the newer model of it is on sale. I have no idea why it’s so cheap all of a sudden, but I bought one yesterday. Best.camera.ever.

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    { 100 comments… read them below or add one }

    Amanda Cowan January 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    My last name is “Cowan” like “Cow-an” but people call me Cohen like “Co-when”. Which is weird because my maiden name was crazy and I thought for sure when I got married this name would be easier for people. No such luck. But I don’t even correct people anymore. It’s just not worth it.

    Reply

    Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit January 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I’m Whitney and always get Brittney or Wendy. The Brittney I typically correct but the Wendy I sometimes just go with if I’m never going to see that person again. Glad Murphy had such a great day!

    Reply

    Whitney January 25, 2013 at 8:23 am

    @Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit: I’m a Whitney too and get Wendy ALL the time! haha

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    Suzanne January 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I’m a Suzanne and I get “Susan” a lot…sometimes I’ll correct them other times it’s just not worth it :)

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    Jen @ Jens Best Life January 24, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Yes! In middle school, the vice principal called me Jeanette (combining my first and last names somehow). I couldn’t work up the courage to correct him for TWO YEARS, and I worked on several committees with him and was constantly called Jeanette. I learned my lesson and try to correct people immediately now!

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    Steph January 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    So proud of you and Murphy! What a great thing you’re doing : )

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    Carley@optimistichealth January 25, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Yum avocados are the best!! Especially now that they’re in season!!

    Reply

    Samantha January 25, 2013 at 12:57 am

    In high school my friend and I won back stage passes and front row tickets to see Kelly Clarkson. At the meet’n'greet she thought my name was “Sampa” not Samantha. I corrected her and she laughed. So sweet, love her! But any way I am CONSTANTLY mistaken for Amanda when I introduce myself. Samantha-Amanda does that sound alike? Not to me. Ha!

    Reply

    absolute health fitness January 25, 2013 at 4:59 am

    Your dog food is great!

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    Jodie January 25, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I had to skip past the lunch to get to Murphys therapy visit. Murphy is beautiful, I smiled the whole way through reading. The elderly would of loved it, I used to sneak my Labrador up to the retirement village as my nan loved it. My neighbour is a special needs teacher, she often takes their lab to the school to be with the children.
    Animals are so therapeutic in so many different ways. I look forward to hearing about Murphys future ventures..Good work to you both, very inspiring.
    BTW, I went back to read about lunch :-)

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    Miranda January 25, 2013 at 7:38 am

    go Murphy!! I am so happy that he did such a great job…people do always love seeing a cute dog.

    I am blessed to have just recently changed my last name to Lyon (sole reason I picked my husband…lol) which will never get miss pronounced. I was a Meppen which I bet someone reading this is thinking is it Me-ppen…nope soft e for both…but no more!!

    Reply

    Alyssa January 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Try this recipe for Avocado Basil – it’s a pesto recipe with an avocado base but the end result is so good, I was eating it as a dip with baby carrots!

    http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/

    Reply

    Tina January 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Thank you! :)

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    kristle January 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    @Alyssa: thats exactly what i was going to refer tina to! i love this avocado sauce on pasta

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    Whitney January 25, 2013 at 8:26 am

    One of my dog’s names is Cruise and when introducing him to a new neighbor they thought I said Bruce so now they call him that everytime they see him! haha I should have corrected it in the beginning but I feel it’s too late now. Good for you and “Murky” visiting the elderly. That is an awesome thing!! :)

    Reply

    Rohan January 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    When I was little, I used to introduce myself to new friends by saying “My name is Rohan, like you’re rowin’ a boat.” It’s a family name which is all well and good, but I always tell people not to give their child the name, it’s too much work! I get mail addressed to Mr. Rohan. I immediately tear it up, since they obviously don’t know me well enough to know my gender!
    And Murphy is absolutely adorable!

    Reply

    Danielle @ Food-Dee.com January 25, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I think it’s wonderful what you and Murphy are doing. I’d love to do that with my dog, Tea, but she’s too much of a spazz.

    My name is Danielle and I get Diane and Denise constantly.

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    Candice January 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I’ve gotten Celeste and Collette instead of Candice. Also oddly, Kim is a common mis-name for me!

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    Katherine January 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    @Candice: Funny, I know twins named Candice and Kim :)

    Reply

    TiffanyS January 25, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I’m Tiffany, but I get Stephanie all the time. My son is Kelvin, but he gets Kevin every time we go to a doctors appointment. People’s mouths work faster than their brain/eyeballs often.

    Reply

    Amy January 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I didn’t read all the comments, so I’m not sure if someone suggested this already, but what about adding in some olive oil to your basil avocado puree? Maybe that’s the missing ingredient? It would add good flavor and a smoothness to the puree.

    Also, I’m thinking about joining our local YMCA so I can use the pool for water jogging and some spin or zumba classes. If you do the water jogging, let us know. It’s always nice to hear new workout ideas since I’m nursing a stress fracture in my foot from strictly running all the time. It sucks being injured.

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    Nicole January 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

    My last name is Getzelman, people always say Gettleman. I don’t understand, they’re forgetting the Z, pretty unique letter hahaha Murky!! love it.

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    Haley January 25, 2013 at 10:36 am

    murky.. i mean murphy.. is just so darn cute ;)

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    Shannon January 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I get called Sharon allll the time – doesn’t bother me. But once I had a client always referring to me that way in email! I mean there it is, black and white ShaNNon haha – so I finally said, by the way it’s Shannon, not Sharon – he was polite about it I just couldn’t let that keep happening LOL

    Reply

    caren January 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    OMG, that was awesome!!! I could never bring my pug to an old age home. if you’re not equally engaged in her tennis ball as she is, she doesn’t want to know you exist.

    ….and she’d probably poop on the floor.

    Reply

    bobbie January 25, 2013 at 11:12 am

    My name is Bobbie and it’s not a nick name. I will get mail addressed to Barbara or sometimes a phone call where they ask for Barbara. It’s kind of annoying. I know that Bobbie is sometimes short for Barbara but that’s a big assumption to make considering I’ve never filled out a form as Barbara or listed my name as that anywhere. I also get a lot of people who will say, “I need your full name not a nick name” when I give them Bobbie. Then I have to explain that it’s not a nick name and so on….

    Reply

    Katie @ A Full Plate January 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Aww so glad Murphy’s visit went well! Such a great thing you all are doing! I can’t wait to get our pup certified as a therapy dog. We think she’d be really good at having kids read to her.

    Reply

    Roz@weightingfor50 January 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Aww…love that Murphy is a therapy dog. Nothing like sharing the love to those in need. As for names, I’m Roz, but I get Rose, Rosa, and Ross fairly regularly. (though if you see me, I’m not Ross-like at all. I have boobs) My full name is Rosalind, and my in laws called me Jocelyn for the first 6 months I was dating my husband. Thankfully, after the 800th time my husband corrected them, they got it. :)

    Reply

    Annette January 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I’m Annette and I’ve been called everything that rhymes with my name or ends in “ette”. Depending on the situation, I think it would be more embarrasing for the person who screwed up my name, so I usually don’t correct them :) That little man that called Murphy “Murky” reminds me of my dad. My dogs BFF is named “Conlan” and my dad always calls him “Conner” or “Conroy”…it gives me a little tickle so I dont even bother correcting him anymore…lol

    Reply

    Alyssa January 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Aww, I’m so glad that Murphy’s visit went well! :)

    I’ve definitely had people say my name wrong. I’ve mostly gotten Aleesa & Alicia. And let’s not even talk about my last name haha. It’s Italian, but I don’t think it’s that hard to pronounce. Unfortunately, most other people disagree lol.

    Reply

    Kelsea January 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    People always call me chelsea. My last name is a first name for a guy so I get called that by mistake ALL the time and people some how think I am a man in business email because of that.

    Reply

    Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake January 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I really like Mal’s name! Is it short for Malcolm? I think unique names are cool. I bet he doesn’t know any other Mals.

    Reply

    Tina January 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm
    Mallory January 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    For some reason, people think my name (Mallory) is very bizarre. I work for a UK based company and they always think my name is Natalie, Valerie and I’ve gotten MARVIN a few times!!

    Reply

    Kait @ ChickadeeSays January 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I love that Murphy is a therapy dog! I only wish that Tinkerbelle could be one too. She’s a sweetheart but a ‘hugger.’ She literally puts her paws around your waist or arms and hugs you when she’s happy, which I love but it wouldn’t work well outside my home!

    xx Kait

    Reply

    Chiara January 26, 2013 at 10:02 am

    That is such a great idea! I love seeing therapy dogs when I visit nursing homes; it really makes a difference in everyon’s day. Growing up with a name like Chiara (pronounced “key-ah-rah”, it’s Italian for “Claire”), I got every mispronunciation in the book from chair, to pronouncing it phonetically, to Cher, to Chiana, to Sharon.

    Reply

    Sarah S. January 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I love that you did that. What joy you and Murphy are bringing!

    People usually hear my name okay, but my husband’s name is Troy and people hear “George” a lot. (Really??). My favorite story about that was when my friend, Roxanne, ordered airline tickets over the phone (in the dark ages- pre- online purchasing). Her ticket came in the mail with her name in them: “RockSand”. Bless.

    Reply

    Athena January 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for the camera advise/info. I’ve been on the lookout, but it’s hard to trust this type of product without seeing the photos from real people.

    Reply

    Angela January 28, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I worked at a retirement community for 2 years and my residents LOVED it when animals visited. We had a group of greyhounds that would come, and then we had alpacas too! So interesting how animals can really perk up older people. :)

    Reply

    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance January 28, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Tina, Christy, Christine, Nina, Crystal, Chris…I’m sure you can relate to all of those! :P

    Reply

    Katy @ HaveYouHurd January 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I’m Katy and people call me Kathy ALL the time…like I just accidentally forgot to put the H in MY name. I also got called Caddy the other day. Mean girls style.

    Reply

    Stephanie January 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Oh yay for him! In high school we always put on a petting zoo as part of FFA week and one year, we went up to one of the nursing homes near the school. It was so much fun :) Glad he had a great first outing!

    Reply

    kirsten January 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    My name is pronounced keer-sten, but I constantly get called Kristin or kursten. It used to bother me when I was younger and too shy to correct anyone but it doesn’t anymore

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    Claire :) February 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I love that Murphy is a therapy dog! I just arranged for one to visit my classroom through DOG B.O.N.E.S and things are going great so far! Best of luck! :)

    Reply

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