Atti had his hip surgery at Shriners Hospital here in Sacramento, and I thank my lucky stars every day we live so close to them. Shriners is the very best place to be for a kid like Atti, and they also do exceptional work for kids who have survived horrific burns, paying for many kids from developing nations to travel in and receive treatment.
Having a whole hospital geared to the needs of kids is such a tremendous gift for us. There’s a whole floor filled with toys and books and games, flooded with sunlight and pop music and art projects, each kid is greeted with a sack of presents, and my favorite, therapy animals make rounds.
This trip I learned that not only do therapy animals make rounds, but each therapy animal has a collectors card made up. So the kids can have a memento of the great visit they had.
In my utopian fantasies, teachers will be celebrities and instead of cards for professional athletes, kids will spend hours lovingly collecting and trading the cards of adorable service animals. That world would be so much happier.