The good news is that, unlike last year (You Did What? 11/7/16), this Halloween I didn’t give any interviews to Telemundo in Spanish. Despite the fact that I’m probably on a gag reel somewhere, I have to admit that I’m disappointed that I haven’t been asked to do a cameo on a telenovela.
This Halloween, as soon as I heard that Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., two of the Lakers, would be joining the People Animal Connection at Mattel Children’s Hospital, I got Marsha the groomer on speed dial. I wanted to make sure she could do purple and gold trim on Gus. A shout out to her son Ryan who, as you can see, did a fabulous job. Then I found the shirt and the collar. Could it get any better?
The day of the event got off to a good start. In the UCLA lobby, “Laker” Gus ran into his crush, “Laker Girl” Coogee.
When we arrived on the fifth floor of Mattel, the atmosphere was electric. The two Lakers were shaking hands, signing autographs and handing out candy. With dogs, parents, staff and most of all smiling children, even some who were seriously ill, it was easy to forget where you were.
I have been a Laker fan forever, even though the last few years have been rough, so how could I not ask for a photo. For the record, Ingram is listed at 6’9″ and Morrow is listed at 5’3″ and shrinking. As for Gus, we don’t want to go there.
As always, there were special moments when I took Gus down the hall to do some individual visits. We were about to walk in to see a little boy when Gus suddenly pulled away, ran into the room and jumped on the bed. Despite the fact that we were breaking every rule, I could see how delighted the patient was. I looked at him and said, “I guess he really likes you!” With a big laugh, he responded, ” I can see that!”
Our last visit was to a sad looking young girl who was in isolation. When that’s the case we don’t go into the room. Instead we visit and show them the dogs from the doorway. I figured that a few of Gus’s tricks would be in order. By the time he danced, played peek-a-boo and waved, the giggling child was waving back at him.
Thank you to the Laker’s for helping to cheer up so many people. Thank you to the super hero who joined us. Sorry, I’m not sure who it was but the kids did! Above all, thank you to our amazing four legged super heroes. They used their magic powers to turn a difficult hospital day into a very happy and festive Halloween!