"Brinkli": She's a Therapy Dog Kinda Girl

“BRINKLI” THE COMMISSION AND HOW IT CAME TO BE I worked in the health care industry for a few years awhile back. I came to know and be very fond of many Nurses, STNA’s, Administrators and Social Workers. I was am so lucky to say I made some life long friends during that period of my life. I salute all of them today. They are doing uber brave things on the front line and i pray for their safety. One of the social workers I crossed paths with was Ellen Drewes. Ellen had an extensive hospice background and brought with her, Brinkli. I watched Brinkli swagger down the halls of the care facility and work as a therapy dog along side Ellen when she counseled patients through tough times and frequently even end of life. Brinkli was and still is, a natural.

BACKSTORY OF COMMISSION: ELLEN’S WORDS: I got Brinkli when she was 5 weeks old from a breeder in Chillicothe. At a week old the breeder put a B for Brinkli on her belly. By the time I picked her up she knew her name. She is named after the dog in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, which is my favorite movie. I always knew I wanted her to be a therapy dog but she had to want that as well!! She was trained by Erica Nonnemann at National K9 in Columbus and she absolutely wanted to be a Therapy dog true to her golden nature. Her specialty is hospice patients and visiting the terminally ill. She grew up at the Pickering House and Fairhope Hospice. Denise Bauer , their CEO, actually suggested I get a therapy dog when I was working for them after the death of my husband David. After leaving there, she loved visiting patents at several care and rehab facilities over the years and being part of their lives. I am now back at hospice but with COVID 19, Brinkli is on a no visiting order from her organization. Brinkli brings joy where there is sadness and is a ray of sunshine to every one she meets. There are tons of people involved in our success. Too many to mention by name but two that I have to. Our vets, who has kept her going and well. Drs. Jennifer Schoenfeld and Heather Cormany. Without great vets you can’t keep a great dog going. She also has been a volunteer at our hospital, FMC, Buckeye Care (previously Homestead), Carriage Court, and several other facilities in Lancaster. Quite a career for a pup!!!!

CONCLUSION: IN MY OWN WORDS Brinkli is one of the only dogs I have painted that I have personally met and interacted with. She used to come up and kinda lean on my leg in the office as if to say “just wanna let you know I’m here”. Brinkli came to Ellen at a time of grief in her life. They formed a team. It came naturally. Good teams do. It’s hard to say who saves who sometimes. During these days of confinement, like Brinkli assuring you she’s got your back, you may want to call somebody this week and say “just wanna let you know I’m here”. That’s good team work. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Stay safe. Stay home. If you would like to read past blogs, please go to www.smithgirlarts.com. If you are interested in a commissioned piece of prints of another work of mine, PM me. Thanks. g #smithgirlarts #brinklitherapydog #socialworkers #nurses #stnas #nursingandrehab #hospice


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