Recently Gus soloed at UCLA. Well, I went along but only to hold his leash and provide car service. I honestly think if he had a license, he might have gone by himself. When we got there, he strutted through the huge marble lobby like he owned the place.
CHARLEY AND ELBEE We tried to tell him about Uber but he just didn’t get it.
While he was doing the lobby strut, a few people from administration happened to see us and invited Gus (and me) into their offices. They offered a rug to lie down on and a bowl of water any time we needed it so I think we know who they were trying to impress.
Up on the fourth floor, Gus worked the neuropsych units like a pro. From the kids, to the teens, to the adults, he knew how to behave with each group of patients. It was almost as if Charley and Elbee had coached him. With his tail wagging, he pranced up and down the halls as the younger kids took turns holding his leash with me. One little girl was so taken with him that she ran to her room and brought her special stuffed animal for him to take home. By the way, he started doing some tricks that I didn’t know were in his repertoire.
CHARLEY AND ELBEE Of course we coached him. We have to protect our reputations. We’re practically doctors. Plus we’d get bored if we just sat around all day, so we chat. For fun we also help him work on his tricks.
Later in the morning, while we were waiting for my car, a woman quietly approached to thank me and to share how grateful she was for the work that we do with the dogs. She said her son was one of the patients that Gus had visited on the fourth floor and that it had made his day. She then walked away to wait for her car. It was one of those simple, touching moments that is its own reward.