Tuesday, June 01, 2010

An Old Friend and a New One

I'll be the first to admit it--I'm not right when it comes to dogs. So, when I heard someone calling my name from the hallway outside my office today to come see a dog, I ran ... er, walked sedately ... to see what was going on.

Standing in the hall was an old friend, a woman I'd worked with at The Big Corporation. She and I had served for several years developing and managing the company's disaster recovery/business continuity plan*.  The person who had called me had no idea Melissa and I knew each other--she was amazed when we broke into a big hug. That was worth the price of admission right there.

*Yes, that's the plan that was ditched as soon as the new Powers-That-Be realized they really didn't give a rat's patootie if the company recovered or continued or anything else. So they let my friend go and, shortly thereafter, me too.

Anyway, it's always nice to see an old friend, especially in a context you weren't expecting. Those are her feet at the top of the picture (the ones in the sandals). But look who she's holding on to. Could Gina be any more beautiful? (I deliberately took a picture that wouldn't flash in her face or you'd really get a faceful of beauty to look at.)

Gina is a 7-year-old rescue black lab who works as a Reading Education Assistance Dog. Turns out Melissa is the president of the Georgia chapter of READingPaws. READingPaws brings assistance animals into therapeutic situations to help kids with their reading skills. The Reading Assistance volunteer and the animal are matched with a child and come on a regular basis to work with that specific kid. The kids form a bond with the dogs (and there's even a Reading Assistance parrot!) and their reading skills improve in the process.

It won't be Gina who will come to my workplace but I was thrilled to meet her anyway. Who wouldn't want to learn to read if you could have a friend like Gina to help you out?

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