Our visits to the Senior Center

April 2, 2013 | By | Add a Comment
With Peter Thompson, Executive Director of the Senior Center

With Peter Thompson, Executive Director of the Senior Center

In February 2013, I contacted the nearby Senior Center, to express my interest in bringing Shayna for some visits, because she seems to have a real knack for putting smiles on older folks’ faces.

As noted in my upcoming book, and elsewhere on this blog, I’ve seen this over and over again – she can take a senior with a morose, sad or disgruntled face, and as in the Toys ‘R Us commercials, turn that frown upside down.  Plus, she gets a huge charge out of doing so – of bringing some sunshine to people’s faces, and spirits.  So in theory, it would be a huge win-win. And Peter Thompson, the Senior Center’s Executive Director, decided to give it a try.

I’m pleased to announce that things worked out exactly as I hoped.

I’ve refrained from posting anything substantive on this topic until I amassed some really good pics and videos, which I planned to assembled into one good blog post.  Special bonus – video is located in (5) below.

So, with that introduction…

(1) Shayna on the way to the Senior Center: When I come home, all I have to do is say, “Wanna go to the Senior Center?” and she perks up, and can’t wait to jump up into the truck:

19Mar13 on the way to UVa2


(2) Even though she’s not supposed to be standing up on her hind legs, Shayna often can’t wait to go greet the ladies who run the front desk…

19Mar13 At Senior Center - wheres my treats


(3) … Mildred and Alice, who are always at the ready with a yummy treat for Shayna (at bottom of frame):

14Mar13 Mildred and Alice

(4) This is Rosie, one of the sweetest ladies I’ve met in a very long time.  She’s completely fallen in love with Shayna.  (Unfortunately, Shayna was very distracted on this day, because another Center regular, Beverly was eating a roast beef sandwich in very near proximity, and kept moving around in an attempt to get Shayna to look towards the camera):

29Mar13 At SC with Rosie 3 29Mar13 At SC with Rosie 2b 29Mar13 At SC with Rosie 1


 (5) VIDEO: While inside the Senior Center, we sometimes sit in the lobby, and let Shayna’s friends, old and new, come and visit with her.  Or, we walk from room to room, and Shayna visit with the people who are working on computers, or exercising, or engaging in any of the myriad other activities that go on at the Center every day.  In this case, we happened to walk by a room which four of her friends (left to right, Brenda, Berti, Jean and Joe) were playing cards, and they welcomed her in as warmly as always.  Video below:

27Mar13 with LtoR BrendaBertiJeanJoe

(6) April 2 update: Some more pictures with Shayna’s friends – in order: with Thelma, Elise and Bruce (Center cafe manager)

  02Apr13 - Thelma

 02Apr13 - Elise02Apr13 - Bruce

November-December 2013 videos

Precious videos of how Shayna is welcomed at the Senior Center. Feel the joy!




Filed in: Life with Shayna | Tags:

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry