Written by Yvonne Driscoll, Specialty Department Concierge
As a specialty department Concierge, I spend much of my day behind the scenes, at my desk, on the phone. I love being able to assist clients with answering their questions about our scheduling and services, getting their pet’s medications refilled, preparing them for their visits, and working closely with their referring veterinarians and our doctors to ensure a smooth visit within our hospital.
On occasion, there is a request that I go to the lobby or an exam room to work with a client there. I look forward to these opportunities, because I not only get to meet wonderful animals, I also get to interact with the people who have entrusted them to our care, and hear their stories personally.
Meeting Ziva the Bouvier de Flandres
A couple of weeks ago, I walked into an exam room, and I was struck by Ziva’s beauty – she was a stunning Bouvier de Flandres with quite a unique color and coat. I soon learned that was just as gentle as she was beautiful, and that her sweet disposition allows her to excel at a VERY special, and very important, volunteer job!
When I heard what it was, I just knew Ziva’s story needed to be shared, and spent the next several minutes chatting with Ziva’s humans, George and Carol.
Ziva at Port City
First, a little background information on Ziva. At a very young age, Ziva started seeing our ophthalmologist Dr. Alison Clode for a serious eye condition. Almost three years later, Ziva still comes to see the Ophthalmology team for rechecks, which is how I met her. Ziva also saw one of our surgeons for an orthopedic issue, which was determined to be inoperable. Her humans committed to some physical therapy and exercise restrictions, and helping Ziva live her happiest, best life, in spite of some challenges along the way.
Her Work with the Troops
So, what is it that makes Ziva so happy, and brings such joy to others? Being a Pease Greeter at Pease Air Force Base. Greeting the troops who are either heading toward a deployment, or returning home from one. She has been doing this since she was just 12 weeks old. From the beginning, she entered the airport, excited to greet new troops, and her enthusiasm is still apparent at each and every visit. Ziva’s Dog Mom had this to say:
“It is not unusual to see troops of any rank lying on the floor with the pups, enjoying some time off from their concerns about deployment. It’s very special to watch how dogs help humans, it’s such a simple but profound thing. They love the troops, and the troops love them right back. Many times at these greets, Ziva will seek out an individual on her own and quietly invite a simple moment of comfort.”
Her Work as a Therapy Dog
Ziva and her Dog Mom, Carol, very recently trained for Ziva to become a Pet Partners Therapy Animal. They passed their certification test in June, after four months of special training. It was a great opportunity for Ziva, because it not only allows her to continue to focus her work with the Servicemen and Servicewomen, she can visit other facilities who might need her gentleness and love.
Thank You, Ziva!
Carol and George recently thanked Port City for helping to keep Ziva healthy, but really, I feel like we should be thanking them, for selflessly sharing their pets and time, and making the world a better place.
To read more about the Pease Greeters, see: https://peasegreeters.org
If you would like to consider finding a local volunteer opportunity: www.volunteermatch.org