Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Friday, June 24, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 25


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12/11/2013 2:00:00 PM
Back Talk From The Back House
By Nancy Wilson

A bell-ringing day
While Sam occasionally gets to visit people in various homes, he also has an annual job he loves. On behalf on Spectrum Generations and the Salvation Army, he spends an hour on assignment, ringing the bell in front of Yellowfront Grocery. To say he loves this task is to put it quite mildly, since he is such a people puppy in the first place.

He knows something is up even before we leave the house, when he dons his therapy dog bandana. He expects something good to happen the minute he sees that coming to adorn him. He is right.

First, he gets a ride, which is rare now. Then he arrives at a place where people are coming and going all the time, walking over to pat him. They often ask, "May I pat him?" (they hardly need to ask) as he goes to them, wagging his tail interminably.

Once in a while, someone has a treat for him, which he would never dream of refusing. He is occasionally asked whether he is a puppy; the answer is yes, a 9-year-old puppy, who is still eminently playful.

He is also very good at persuading people to part with their money, getting them to put it into the kettle. He doesn't say a word, but goes up to them with a big smile on his face and wag in his tail, and they can't resist.

Sam seems to understand he is doing a very good deed, making an appeal for a well-respected charity; he gives it his all, which seems to work quite nicely. I can only hope that he brought in considerable funds. I suspect he did, from the number of people who stopped by to donate, and/or to chat, while we were there.

Rain had been predicted on the day last week when we did our stint, but fortunately it held off until after we had finished. It was a bit chilly, but we were prepared for that; after all, it is winter in Maine, despite some warm days to the contrary. A cup of coffee halfway through helped fend off the chill.

All in all, Sam and I enjoyed our bell-ringing stint last week; Sam would be delighted to fulfill his obligation again next year.

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