Q: How did you end up with Rascal?
A: I did a lot of research and found that labradoodles were perfect for this kind of thing. I wanted a puppy but couldn't find one here. I talked to a breeder in Texas and told her what I wanted to do and she said, "I have the dog for you."
Q: How often do you and Rascal visit with residents?
A: We go at least twice a week and spend at least two-to-three hours. At first, I planned on seeing just a few residents but others started asking if they could see Rascal. Every two months, Rascal throws the residents a party with cake and ice cream and pizza and Coke. We have a ball and the residents eat it up, literally.
Q: You must have a good relationship with the Scepter staff?
A: Yes and they call Rascal their mascot.
Q: Does Rascal enjoy going?
A: When we are in the car and make the turn to go to Scepter, Rascal will start jumping up and smiling. He can't wait to get there. The residents have a special way of rubbing him. He loves to be scratched up under his harness.
Q: I bet he likes those treats?
A: Oh yeah. I have to break them up in small pieces.
Q: What do you think it is about a dog that the residents relate to?
A: Unconditional love. There are no questions asked with a dog. There is nothing false or phony about a dog's love. The residents talk to Rascal and pet him and start reminiscing about their dogs. I think he brings the past to them.
Q: Do the people with memory problems relate to Rascal?
A: Yes and they remember him and look forward to him coming.
Q: So all and all, how would you say your ministry has gone?
A: The strong bond and triangle of love, friendship and respect between the residents and Rascal and me is unreal.