I retired, Millie went to school
In fall of 2005, I retired from
nursing, and we moved from our
home of 35 years to a smaller (and
more accessible) home. Millie
adapted quickly and, thanks to her
warm and attentive companion-
ship, I also adapted. In August
2008, Ken, Millie and I began her
obedience training. She passed her
K- 9 Good Citizen test in Octo-
ber and started novice training in
November. In February 2009, she
started therapy training and in
March passed her test with flying
colors. Because of my MS, she
was already accustomed to canes,
walkers, reachers, wheelchairs and
scooters, and was acclimated to
children because of my two grand-
sons, Andrew and Parker, whom
she adores. In April, Millie became
a registered K- 9 therapy dog with
Therapy Dogs Incorporated in
Now we both serve
Our chapter is called Love on a
Leash Therapy Team. We visit
area nursing homes, assisted
living homes and a VA hospital.
I want to extend our visits to
schools and libraries, branching
into a reading program. Millie
has always been my therapy dog,
but I wanted to share the love
and joy she gives me with oth-
ers. I miss nursing, but our visits
are an activity she and I can do
together. We are inseparable, and
she gives me purpose, a reason to
greet each day with a smile and
Cissie Mathias lives with her family,
including Millie, in Alabama.
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