…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menosukhi - just a wee bit sentimental

This is an immediate followup to yesterday's post on communication - thank you for the comments received! F&E, you just know how to extract the essence, M&S's mum clearly knows a think or two and Joanne lifted my heart with mention of a favourite author of my younger years - John Steinbeck. There was a man who could wrangle words and make us feel them... there are a few quotes from his works which got noted in my 'remember for life' book.  Things like "A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ", "There is more beauty in truth, even if it is a dreadful beauty", "...and they began the day with hope", "What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness"... that last one is particularly pertinent for we Northerners just now.

(I regret, in young arrogance of great memory, not having noted the publications from which I extracted the words - not just Steinbeck's, but many others over the years....tsk... who knew then that menosoup would shake all the recall from me...???)

Anyway. Following the theme of communication, I had been setting things up for this one; it is a cut and paste from Guide Dogs about how a little boy's life is being changed - this also follows up on the mention I made when telling you about Isaac and how not all the dogs in training necessarily make it to full guiding status; here we discover that there is another purpose which can be fulfilled!

Oliver and Lucy
21 Jan 2015
Black Labrador retriever Lucy is a Guide Dogs Buddy Dog and has been paired with Oliver. Buddy dogs are guide dogs that haven't qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of blind and partially sighted children and young people. Oliver’s mum describes the impact Lucy has had on their family:

"Oliver had a brain injury when he was two days old as a result of neonatal hypoglycaemia. As a result he has lost most of his vision, he has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, some learning difficulties and has an autism diagnosis.

"Oliver cannot express himself easily emotionally, although having said this he is a very very loving little boy when you understand him. He couldn’t say simple things like ‘goodnight’ to us, but that has changed and we are sure it’s Lucy’s influence on him. He tells Lucy that he loves her, and he has done so every night since her arrival.

School have noticed a change too. Oliver is in Year 1 (his third year at the school) at his special school, and his teachers have asked him everyday to say 'yes I'm here' in registration. He had always refused, until now. They are so thrilled with him and the language progress he is making.

"He has advanced in literacy too. Prior to Lucy's arrival Oliver used mostly verbs, nouns, pronouns and prepositions to communicate verbally, but since the first evening of Lucy arrival we noticed his use of adjectives.

"His mobility has improved too. While Oliver still needs adult support when he’s with Lucy, he’s no longer needs an adult to support him on both sides. Lucy seems to guide him somehow (even without her guiding gear).

"We can't leave him for too long by himself because of his epilepsy but in time Lucy may possibly be able to alert us to a seizure. She seems very intelligent indeed."

Oliver and Lucy were featured in a video for BBC Ouch. Watch the video below.

There are many of you who will be unable to utilise the BBC link (i.e. outside the UK), so do please use the Guide Dog link up top to access the page this article came from and you may be able to watch the embedded version there. (I was unable to embed here as my blog ID is actually based in India - but was able to watch at GD site quite happily... and it is worth watching so do take the time!)

Now, didn't that make you all 'menosukhi'???


  1. OH HOW BEAUTIFUL this story is... Our mom knows Furst Paw how an animal can Change children's Lives for the better...
    When she taught Multiply Handicapped 5 to 10 year olds... she had a CAT that she took to school with here Every day... and it was the CAT... who's name was.. SCHOOL CAT... who caused one of her students to speak her FIRST WORD EVER... actually it was TWO WORDS... they came out like Ooooool At but they were a BLESSING... NO ONE could believe that this little "MUTE" child would EVER speak a single word... but SCHOOL CAT... brought them out of her..
    THANK YOU for sharing the story with us... WE are POWERFUL FORCES and we do SO much for Peeps.

    1. Hari Om

      Oh yes that is FABulous... I have seen it at the other age-end, working with elders diagnosed with various levels of dementia responding to animals - or even just simply talking about Jade Dog or Jasper Cat - some how you little furry beings bring a focus and help to quell the fears.... Yxx

  2. A warming story! Proof once again that many great communications are not produced by words! Those are some great quotes too! That last quote is what often gets us through the cold days even though right now we are having record breaking warmth. It is also something we thought about alot when we first stopped working. As soon as dad retired we went on a vacation (mom stopped working 2 years prior) and the sweetness of vacation affected cuz we no longer had anythig to "get away" from BOL! But now we have adjusted things so it isn't so stark.

    1. Hari Om

      Oh yes I know what you mean - now I don't think in terms of holidays or vacations, just days where it may mean an alteration of routines - which brings up the other great adage "a change is as good as a rest"!!! Yxx

  3. What a lovely story. Just shows how the link between hoomans and dogs transcends just woods.
    I will luffs the warmth of spring, I'm bored wiv the cold of winter!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xx

  4. What a wonderful story, animals make our lives so much better.

  5. I agree with Merlesworld: animals make our lives so much better, especially for those who need it most. Even just feeling the fur in your hand is good!

  6. We do so much great work these days. The link worked for me! So sweet.


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