Mika is our angel. We found her at a shelter and her days were numbered. She was so skinny and fearful but we could tell that she just needed some love and patience. She is amazingly sweet and soulful. It makes me so happy that we can help people and spread some love together.
One of my favorite moments in her pet therapy journey was when we were at a nursing home and there were residents in wheelchairs watching TV. One woman in particular was extremely limited. She seemed to be unresponsive. She could not speak or communicate. She was sitting there but she really wasn’t “there.” But when I brought Mika close to her she began to rock really hard in her chair, hitting the armrests and smiling so big . We sat next to her with her hands on Mika the whole time. And Mika just did what Mika does… she gazed at her and snuggled in to give her some love. It reaffirmed for me just how much spending time with a dog can do for people. I will never forget that lady and how overjoyed she was to see Mika. It will stay with me always.
Mika has also changed something in me. She’s taught me about myself. I have learned so much about my capacity for patience, commitment, and love from her. Doing pet therapy with her is a really special experience. Not only for the people we visit. And not only for Mika. But for me, too. It has given me such perspective. It takes me outside of my own self. I feel such gratitude that I can bring some “Mika love” to people. It doesn’t matter what mood I’m in or if I feel like going, I’m always happy afterwards, just seeing how she affects people. I’m actually very humbled to be able to share her this way.
Mika and her handler Amy have been certified with Alliance of Therapy Dogs for one year. They live and work in Asheville, North Carolina.