On Thursday, August 11th, HOTR residents and staff bid final farewell to a much beloved member of our canine staff, Compass. As I reflect on all the lives Compass touched in his role of therapy dog and Home on the Range Good Will Ambassador, I am struck by how his name fit him to a tee and aptly described his uncanny ability to help residents get their bearings after being blown off course by a severe, fast-moving emotional weather front.
A compass is defined as “An instrument containing a magnetized pointer that shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it”. Our “Compass” had an amazing internal pointer that drew him to those who were caught in an emotional maelstrom and had drifted from their internal north; a place of calm safety. He would seek out those who had veered off course and, through his calm, loving presence, help them find their emotional bearings and return to calmer seas.
As Compass was laid to rest, several residents shared stories about how he had come to their aid, put a smile on their face and would always hold a special place in their hearts. The unconditional love he so willingly gave was felt by all. He reminded us that we all carry an internal compass that contains a “true north” that is marked by compassion, kindness and a generous heart. Compass showed us how these “true north” qualities have the power to emotionally “right” us when we are lost and out of sorts. He leaves us with this wonderful legacy, which has him wagging his tail and, in true Compass fashion, looking for a treat for another job well done!
We love you and will miss you sweet Compass!