(Ch. Iron Hills Warwagon x Arrabelle of Acorn Hill CD) / 1990 - 2000
Breeder: Mary Louise Owen
Submitted by Susan Krauser who owned and loved Uther
Even as a puppy Uther loved visiting schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. He was a part of the ‘petting zoo’ at our veterinarian clinic every single year, as part of their celebration of National Pet Week. He was in an enclosure with adult and baby animals of all kinds, who were petted and loved by the children who came to visit. There were ducks, rabbits, goats, sheep, kittens and puppies in the enclosure with him.
We were regular visitors at one elementary school, and Uther was “Mudge” at every visit. The teacher would read one of the Henry and Mudge books to her class, and Uther and I would participate. In the upper grades, the students would read their reports on the Old English Mastiff aloud to the rest of the class. The report was a required “to do” before Uther could come. In other schools we gave talks to the children on dog safety and the importance of good veterinary care. And, we answered all the usual questions that children ask about Mastiffs. How big is he, how much does he eat, etc.
At nursing homes, his great head would rest quietly on the beds of the patients. There, he would be patted and loved. I found it truly amazing how much a gentle dog could actually bring back to the elderly who were suffering from Alzheimer’s. If they had been a dog lover in years past, sometimes the mere sight and touch (and even the smell) of a friendly dog brought back memories. Mostly, comfort and happiness were recalled from days long gone by. Uther exuded love and gentleness to everyone who came in contact with him, and the patients eagerly awaited his weekly visits.
Thursdays were his very favorite days. Thursday was NURSING HOME day! He knew every week when that day rolled around that he would have fun. He became very familiar with the routine, and after awhile, he was trusted off lead to visit on his own with the Activities Coordinator and myself following behind. Being a wee bit single minded at times, he would occasionally ‘do his own thing’. He would trot down the hall, completely bypass at least six rooms, and make a sharp turn to the left. We were always in hot pursuit. From the hallway, we could hear Mrs. Miller laughing and talking. It was “Uther Day”, and every week, she saved him something from her lunch tray. Sometimes, it would be half a hamburger, sometimes, a piece of meatloaf, and sometimes, it was a Twinkie. He was no dummy. He knew where the best room was located. This simple act not only brought sheer joy to Mrs. Miller and Uther, but also to the Activities Coordinator, the nursing staff, some of the patients and myself. He always ‘brought the house down’ with that ploy. Laughter is always such a wonderful thing, and Mrs. Miller could not wait for his visits. By the time we entered her room, he had eaten his snack, she had wiped his mouth, and they were having a perfectly wonderful visit. Of course, we made sure to double back and visit the patients he had passed by on his Twinkie quest. He loved his special people, and they loved him. Over time, he had become best friends with many of them.