Richard’s almanac: Therapy dog visits the Senior Center

RICHARD LOMUSCIO PHOTO Katie, a two-and-a-half year-old mini Labradoodle who’s been certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

RICHARD LOMUSCIO PHOTO
Katie, a two-and-a-half year-old mini Labradoodle who’s been certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

I had a delightful time at the Senior Center last Wednesday.

Director Laurie Fanelli asked me to come over to see the visiting therapy dog who was coming to the Silver Circle. I told Laurie that I had an appointment in Sag Harbor (I was on the track of a new computer) and I also had the grandkids in tow. I had also promised them lunch at Panera Bread.

She invited us to come to the barbecue lunch that they were planning. Laurie’s assistant David Binder was working the grill while Giovanna Ketcham and her crew were preparing the fixins. So I said “what the heck,” and took them up on their offer.

I picked up Myla at Sylvester Manor where she’s working as a counselor and got Leonardo from Gardiner’s Bay Country Club where he’s taking golf lessons. They were not thrilled when I told them of the change in plans but they really had no choice.

We arrived at the Center and were treated to thick, juicy cheeseburgers with pickle, tomato, chips and barbecued zucchini. The zucchini was grown in the garden adjacent to the Center. While we were enjoying our lunch along with lemonade, Katie arrived.

She’s a two-and-a-half year-old mini Labradoodle who’s been certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Her owners are Islanders Georgette and Michael McConnell. Katie quickly made friends with everyone there and gave as much love as she received. She had a wonderful disposition and did not seem to bark at all.

As we got ready to leave for our off-Island appointments, we were given a few cucumbers and zucchinis from the garden.

I also learned that there is still room in the Safe Driving Class. It’s sponsored by AARP and is set for Tuesday, August 7 from 9 am to 4 p.m. It costs $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-members.

You’ll get a discount on your auto liability insurance for the next three years. Believe me, it’s worth it. I took the class last summer. To register call (631) 749-1059. You can also call that number if you’d like to be a volunteer driver to transport elderly folks to medical appointments and necessary banking and shopping. Volunteers are always needed.

Meanwhile, investigation is underway to get the Adaptive Living Program of the Helen Keller Services for the Blind to come to the Island. The mission is to help individuals with vision loss stay independent and  safe in their homes and communities.

And low vision seems to be one of those afflictions that comes with aging.

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