In Dentured Service

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

It’s official. I’m addicted to doing good deeds! A while ago I made a point to do nice things for others. First came basic good deeds, like helping Connie eat her vegetables, rescuing Eugene when he got stuck in a tree and watering Mrs. Manners. (I meant to water Mrs. Manners’ yard, but I accidentally set the sprinkler too close to the front door and ended up watering her instead.)

Before I knew it, one good deed led to another and another and another—don’t stop me, I’m on a roll—and another and another and another and . . . you get the picture. By the end, I was no longer just a good-deed doer, I had become a full-fledged volunteer.

Now when I’m not volunteering, I look for good deeds to do on the side. Like listening to Mrs. Glockenspiel tell me the same story day after day about her mail getting delivered slower and slower. In all honesty, it’s a real drag listening to her complain, but I figure it’s the least I can do . . . being her mailman and all.

I’m not the only one at my house who enjoys volunteering. Sam and River have caught the volunteering bug too. They come with me every Saturday to help out at the Blessed Assurance Nursing Home.

Everyone at the nursing home looks forward to seeing Sam and River. That’s because patients in nursing homes often get lonely and bored or just need to see a friendly face. So spending time with a nice pet can make them feel like the center of the universe. And that’s exactly what Sam and River do best!

Sam has become a regular fixture at the nursing home. A lot of the residents think of him as their own dog. Mr. Gillespie can never remember where he places his dentures, so he trained Sam to fetch them for him. Mr. Gillespie says, “Teef, Sam, teef!” and Sam runs off to find them. He looks kind of ridiculous when he brings them back, though. There’s just something funny about a dog walking around with human dentures.

River likes to spend most Saturdays sitting on the senior citizens’ laps while they knit warm hats, scarves and blankets for charity. Sometimes they let River play with a special ball of yarn. Mrs. Horstmann likes to say that watching River play while they knit keeps them all in stitches. Get it?

By the way, I have this great idea for a new ministry. Did you know that some senior citizens can’t afford to pay for eyeglasses? Some spend years wearing the same pair, even if their eyes have gotten worse.

I plan to ask the folks on my mail route to donate their old eyeglasses for those in need. I’m going to call it Open My Eyes Ministry, because everyone should find ways to serve others. It’s as good for the doers as it is for the person being helped. That’s a fact.

This article first appeared in the June 2012 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.