CenterPoint Recovery Center for Men is a six-month, residential drug treatment facility. In March, CenterPoint added “Sami” to the staff. Sami has brown hair, is a good listener and full of energy – well, Sami is a puppy – but that makes her no less valuable! Sami has wagged her tail into the hearts of staff and residents alike. iMeet loved interviewing this amazing dog who is helping so many people.
Well, my name is Sami. I’m one of five siblings. Interestingly, we were all born at the same time. We aren’t identical though. I’m from here in Paducah and I’m a little over a year old - or seven years - depending on how you look at it.
I joined the team at CenterPoint just a couple of months. I guess you would call me a counselor - though I don’t really have a title. I work with the men who are here to beat their addiction to drugs and alcohol
A lot of people may wonder why I would want to hang out with such a “rough group” of guys. In the end, I just want to be loved and I love each and every one of them. They tell me things that are bothering them or come see me for a hug when they are having a tough time.
They know I am a great listener and would never repeat what they tell me. For a lot of these guys I represent a little piece of home. I make it just a bit easier to get through the day.
I’m not sure how I ended up at the place that the nice folks from CenterPoint saved me from. I guess CenterPoint folks are just in the business of saving people. They sure saved me.
I think the best part of my job is that I have more than 120 guys who want to take care of me. I mean, really, what more could a girl ask for?!
I think the hardest part is hearing some of the stories they tell me. Many of the men here came from family and a home life that was full of drugs and alcohol. That’s really the only life many of them have ever known.
I think working with me - having to take care of me - helps teach them responsibility and how to care for and love someone. Something they may never have experienced in the past. And of course, I love each of them - unconditionally.
I wake up pretty early - we all do. Someone will take me outside and then feed me and I’m ready for the day. I usually go to a couple of classes and hang out with one or two of the guys who I know are having a bit of a tough time. I spend a lot of time in the dorm where the newest residents are.
The first couple of weeks for them is always the hardest and I like to make them feel welcome. In the afternoons, if I am not in class, I may take a nap. I have a choice of more than 100 beds if I want or I can just nap in my own bed – it’s a pretty great set up!
Then in the evenings I usually just sit with one or two of the guys and listen. It’s my job to help them build nurturing relationships and take on adult responsibilities. And, just being with them is what my job is all about.
I wish! To be certified in training would cost thousands of dollars. So, I do the best I can. Even though I have no formal training, I really don’t need it to be a good listener. And, that’s the biggest part of my job.
Well, there are a couple of cats that live here too. But, they are outside cats and don’t get to stay inside like I do. Ha! They don’t really bother me much, so I’m not inclined to chase them. Besides, a good temperament is very important for what I do. I really have to get along with everyone.
As for shoes - not my thing! And, luckily I have 120 guys sneaking me little treats from the kitchen every day so I probably wouldn’t have to time to chew a shoe - too many other things to eat that taste a lot better than rubber and canvas.
I have found my calling. I am doing what everyone like me wishes for. I get to love my friends and they love me. Pretty simple really, but so profound when you really think about it.