Every year the Josep V. McKee Trauma Center recognizes its best, most reliable nurses. This year’s winner is Eleanor Riley. Nurse Eleanor has been recognized for her commitment to duty. The nurse of the year cemented her claim to the award during a recent blizzard which dumped two feet of snow on the city.
That day half of the staff could not make it to the hospital due to the condition of the roads. The buses and trains were not running. Eleanor was determined that nothing would stop her from making it to work. So far as she was concerned, there were lives to save. Thus, the reliable, committed nurse bundled herself up, had a hot cup of cocoa, squeezed on her snow boots and headed off to the hospital on foot. She was mentally prepared for the two-mile journey, or at least, so she thought.
Late that afternoon trekking across Pelham Parkway, as the knee-deep snow continued falling, Eleanor thought to herself “The Bronx has become my own private winter wonderland.” There wasn’t another living soul in sight, no cars, no buses – nothing. The city seemed to have become a ghost town.
Then suddenly out of the corner of her left eye, she noticed a red and grey dog bounding towards her. The K-9 was leaping through the freshly fallen snow like a giant rabbit as fast as it could. Eleanor became horrified and began to run. She feared dogs more than anything in the world ever since she had been bitten by one when she was only five.
As the four-legged assailant, closed in on Eleanor, the Joseph V. McKee Medical Center came into view. It became a race between the nurse and the unleashed dog which was now in hot pursuit. The frightened nurse was fast, but the big red dog was faster. Eleanor began screaming, certain that she would soon relive the most traumatic experience of her life.
What the committed nurse did not know was that the dog’s name was Piper and that he was a gentle, playful Belgian Tervuren. Piper had bounded up a snow drift in his backyard and managed to find his way out on to the street.
Piper was harmless and only wanted to play in the snow, and that's just what he and Eleanor wounded up doing. Thanks to him not only did Eleanor make it to work early that snowy afternoon, but she was also able to overcome her 21-year phobia of dogs.
Hi, I'm Lester Patterson,