Houston the Visiting Dog
Houston is an eight-year-old, Cocker Spaniel-Pekinese mix who loves nothing more than to visit his senior friends in Yucaipa and surrounding communities in the Inland Empire. He volunteers as a visiting dog in assisted living communities and sometimes makes house calls to our home care clients.
Houston is a happy little guy, but life didn’t start out so easily for him. His original family accidentally backed over him and broke his hind legs. They asked the veterinarian to put Houston to sleep, even though the vet told them that Houston could heal with about $300 worth of medical care. An alert staff member in the vet’s office knew we were interested in adopting a puppy and connected us with Houston. In those days we just thought he was cute and sweet – we had no idea how much this injured rescue pup would contribute not only to our lives, but to the whole community!
As a result of the accident Houston still has a funny little walk, but that doesn’t prevent him from being an extremely active dog. He is well trained and enjoys performing tricks for an audience. He is also very intuitive around seniors. At times he is high energy and active, but when he enters an assisted living community or home of an older adult he instinctively becomes patient and calm. He will sit quietly on the lap of a stroke victim as she pets him or lovingly give out “kisses” to someone who is homebound and lonely. We notice that seniors especially love getting kisses from Houston!
Houston is also good with other animals. He has two cat “sisters” and plays with them as if they are dogs. He is a special animal who has brought an incredible amount of joy to our lives and the lives of dozens of older adults.