The first story started when Stuart, my therapy dog, and I were making our regular visit to one of our nursing homes. The trip had gone smoothly, and Stuart was having a good time. One of his favorite areas at one of these facilities is the physical therapy room, where there’s always a lot of action.
The physical therapy staff includes our friend Nikki Patel, who was a bit uncomfortable around Stuart at first, but now they are good friends.
Nikki was working that day, and the therapy room seemed busy as Stuart and I visited with the patients and staff. She called me over and said, “I’m getting married.”
Nikki explained that she was tired of dating someone for a while, breaking up and having to start all over again. She said she had found a nice guy and was tieing the knot. When I asked her if this fellow had any knowledge of the impending marriage, everyone one in the room laughed.
Our next visit to the Madison Health Care Center came exactly two weeks later on April 15. We again had a blast working our way through the facility. When we arrived at the therapy room, it was busy as usual.
Nikki entered the room with a patient, and I asked Nikki if she had become a bride. The room got quiet as she smiled and walked over to me. She asked me if I knew what the date of our last visit was.
As I counted back I was sure it was going to be April 1. It was indeed April Fool’s Day, which is one of my favorite days of the year, especially when I’m on the delivering end of pranks. She really got me, but I have almost a year to come up with something.
The second incident occurred at Hornet Park Elementary, where Stuart and I visit weekly. Stuart listens to the stories that some of the children read to him.
A young girl was reading a book that featured several characters – Cinderella and Rapunzel – from other children’s books in it. The girl had just read the part about the flying carpet when I stopped her and asked if she had ever ridden on a magic carpet. She didn’t look at me when she said no.
I jokingly explained that the carpet we were sitting on might be magical. She commented on its size, and I explained that I thought it might be able to carry up to eight kids and maybe a couple of dogs. She offered no comment and continued reading.
As she was close to finishing her book, she turned to Stuart and – without acknowledging me – said, “Would you please tell that guy, your master, that there is no such thing as a flying carpet.”
Just as she was about to walk out of the room, she turned to Stuart and said, “Don’t you forget to tell him!”
The librarian, Heather Byland, and I burst out laughing.
Hanging out with Stuart is a blast.