• Milli

10 July 2016

I am a golden cocker spaniel and like any carrot top I can be quite excitable. My Mum calls it 'vocal.' However at Noddfa (where Mum and I attended the Catholic Womens’ Ordination Retreat) it is such a calm and peaceful place that I managed to keep my cool very nicely. You must come sometime, as it is magical. It is not just that the forest is full of enormously tall, green trees. Or that you can hear the sound of the sea mingled with cars. It is not because little animals scurry seductively around while I sniff the flowers and bushes. It is not because of the food but it is the feeling of love. That is what I appreciate most at Noddfa. It is that feeling that although I have only been once before that I really do know the place. We must be visiting it in our dreams. It all seems so familiar. I had lots of time to rest and recharge well-worn batteries. Even though Mimi (my black and white Cocker Spaniel friend) and I would have like to listen in, to all the activities of Alexander Technique, planning of liturgy and proposing new ways of how the Roman Catholic Church should be, we did love this opportunity to chill in our room. We were allowed to join in with the traipse around all the trees and we did our best to make sure everyone felt safe and comforted. I nearly forgot to tell you that I am a RECOVERY Assistance Dog for Mental Health as that is my job.

The highlight of the weekend was when all of us gathered to find out what a wonderful mission us RECOVERY Assistance Dogs have to help humans find wellbeing. As you probably have noticed humans talk far too much and get quite stressed doing this. While we, as dogs, are honoured and devout Practioners of sitting still and doing nothing. We love to help others to do this. You should have seen us show the humans how well trained we are. We gave them an opportunity to get us to sit, stay, lie down and watch them. My Mum showed my new found friends (they had given me treats) how I tap her with my nose to reassure her. Mimi taps with her paw. Mum is so much less anxious and fearful with me around to comfort and protect her. Quite honestly I do wonder if we really are the "next best thing to God on this earth!" as she says. If she only knew what we were thinking sometimes. Anyway you missed something absolutely fabulous at Noddfa. Do come next year as you may get to meet us RECOVERY Assistance Dogs. We will make sure you will not regret it as you will never be the same again.

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