This week’s Pet in the Spotlight is not only Tammy’s very best friend, but he’s also a bit of a celebrity, entertaining the locals by helping Tammy navigate the local waters in her kayak, and most importantly giving comfort to patients in a rehabilitation center.
1. What is your name and how long have you been playing Solitaire TriPeaks?
Tammy, since January, 2019.
2. What is the name of your pet?
My dog’s name is Odie and he is my kayaking partner as you will see in the photographs. I could hardly choose one as his personality is so large it could hardly be expressed in one photograph.
3. What breed or type is Odie?
He is a long-haired dachshund.
4. How did your he come into your life?
He came into our lives as a Christmas gift.
5. What’s the cutest thing Odie does?
The cutest thing my dog does is hug me on demand. When I ask for a hug and a kiss, he climbs right up to my shoulders, snuggles around my neck and gives me a kiss. He’s also very talented. He knows so many tricks from laying down to giving paw, doing a fist bump, speaking, rolling over and everyone’s favorite… When you shoot him he falls over and plays dead. If you ask me though everything he does his cute lol.
He stands on top of my kayak and causes quite a stir everywhere we paddle. People ask to take his picture because it’s not every day you see a kayak with a wiener dog in a goldfish life jacket at the helm! We kayak around the city of Pittsburgh at the Point, and he truly brings smiles to everyone we greet.
Odie is also my ministry partner, attending church services as a volunteer and visiting patients at the nearby rehabilitation hospital. We’ve been going there for eight years doing Bingos for the patients and teaching paint classes as well as singing. I don’t even need to keep him on a leash when we go, he runs directly to the elevator, and waits patiently for his turn. He is able to run around the room randomly visiting patients freely, even stretching up for those who have trouble reaching him from their wheelchairs. He also attends art classes that I teach at a senior citizen apartment building. The women there are so thrilled when he comes and ask me to place him in their lap to snuggle with before they leave. He lays gently at their feet as they paint their canvases. Odie was never trained to be a therapy dog, it all just came naturally to him.
They may not know *my* name when we enter the hospital or the senior building, but everyone knows Odie. Nurses greet him and give him treats and patients give him food from their lunch. When they hear the jingle of his tags coming down the hall, they know he’ll be bringing the smiles soon.
6. What’s the one thing you wish he would stop doing?
When you ask, what is the one thing I wish my dog would stop doing… I wish he would stop aging (I am sure all of us wish that of all of our pets). Odie is 13.
7. How does your Odie encourage you to keep playing TriPeaks?
He’s always snuggled in the recliner chair as I play my Solitaire game. He’s quite a good luck charm.
8. What’s the funniest story you have about something he did?
The most recent funny thing my dog did was we had a New Year’s eve birthday party for my stepfather for his 80th birthday. My daughter-in-law and I created a balloon drop and at midnight we dropped a bunch of balloons into the room. And Odie would not stop until he had barked at and popped every single balloon! Lucky for me, I filmed the whole thing! Every memory is a treasure now.
9. Are you in a Club? If so, do they all know about Odie?
Yes. You can tell by the name I use in my game, DoxieLover that my pet means the world to me.
10. Do you have any final words you’d like to share regarding Odie?
And the last thing I want to say about my pet Odie, is, he has turned me into a dachshund lover for life. He does everything with me and goes everywhere with me. He has truly stolen my heart. The gift of sharing him with others has been a privilege for us both. He is a one-of-a-kind dog! Our kayak trips, our ministry hours spent visiting patients, or just sitting together in the recliner chair, all of these are treasured gifts as my pet gets older every day and I worry about the diagnosis he’s been given. I take nothing for granted, and I’m grateful for every minute we get to share our lives together. I thank God for every minute and pray that we still get to go kayaking this summer. Odie truly is my very best friend and always will be.
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