Friday, January 11, 2008

New Year’s cheer at Tiratana Homes

New Year’s Day and Waggie Tails with the PetnYou Dog Squad decided to have a party at the Tiratana orphanage and senior citizens home in Desa Petaling. Kids from the Agathians shelter were also invited, so there was about 200 kids present which meant a whole lot of noise and activity. That also meant that we had to be on our best behavior and despite all the commotion, we were pretty cool about it and maintained our composure, mostly.
Plenty of food and ice-cream kept the kids contented for awhile. The Dog Squad had a simple line up of performances to entertain the kids for the evening. Junior kicked off the proceedings with his trademark ‘gongxi’ gesture and swift twists, turns and rollovers. As he was the smallest, he was allowed to perform on the table so that everyone had a decent view of his antics.

We moved onto the larger stage and Cami showcased her moves including short frisbee catches, nifty jumps and a hop onto back move. Then Bank and Sissy followed suit with OB heelwork and retrieving exercises, which were well executed. And I concluded our show with a musical freestyle routine. All demos were well received and captured the kids’ attention. I continued to play fetch with them afterwards. There was a sea of hands wanting to have a go at throwing my ball whilst I was still on stage and they were calling out for me to hand over my ball… guess this is the closest I will ever get to being in a rock concert, rock n roll man!

Was great to see all Dog Squad members chipping in with their own repertoire of moves as part of the evening’s entertainment. Those who did not go on stage also did their part by interacting with the kids and giving them plenty of hugs and wet kisses, especially Venus. She made her owner real proud by adapting to the environment and behaving extremely well in the arms of new found friends … a little ice cream as reward and she was sold.
Empress wore a chicken cum cowboy suit which had everyone in stitches … she must be the hired clown for the day. Cami also garnered a lot of attention as she had trouble convincing the kids that she is actually a dog despite her cat-like features.

The kids then entertained us with their dance routines and sketches. They also presented the PetnYou Dog Squad with a huge ‘Thank You’ card at the end of the evening, sweet.
Apart from the performances, we had to pose for photos, go on walks with eager and enthusiastic kids, play with them and behave … all at the same time! Well, nobody said it was easy being a therapy or even a visitation dog.
Was uplifting to see the kids having a grand time and each smile or chuckle meant that the evening’s efforts had been worthwhile. Was also touching to see so many kids in the orphanage left to fend for themselves and we can only hope that they find a shoulder to lean on in their growing-up years. I would recommend a dog for each of them but guess the home isn’t big enough to accommodate everyone.

Was time to say our goodbyes and as I strolled out the entrance gates, a teenage girl ran out from the home just to bid farewell and give me a pet on my head. She quipped, ‘That’s Groovy, right?!!’

… and I left with a heavy heart. I didn’t even get her name.


Blogger Ben_Benjamin said...

Wow Groovy, this is such a wonderful, meaningful, cheerful, greatful, and succesful program huh??? You guys really cheer up those kids.

By the way, I heard Pacco said that we have the same bandana???

9:59 PM  
Blogger Amber-Mae said...

Awww, what a great day you all had! I'm sure all those little kids loved you all...

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

12:21 PM  

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