Aby-a-Day – May 15 – AARP Life@50 2014

Last Thursday, Jacoby and I were invited to participate in the United Healthcare booth at the AARP 2014 Life@50 National Event in Boston. It was held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, only a mile and half from where we live!

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It was a nice day so we walked over to the convention center, where we met up with our host from United Healthcare, Christine, and another PetPartners therapy team, Lee Ann and Sophie.

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Sophie, a King Charles Spaniel, is deaf. She was excited to meet the famous Strollercat, though.

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The other therapy teams were Deb and Boo, a Shitzu, and Nikki and Ralphie, an Abyssinian guinea pig. The convention center is HUGE (it’s the largest in New England), and we had to walk a good way to get to the area the event was actually being held.

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Good thing we have a stroller!

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Like I said, the hall is huge, but we’ve been to big convention halls before. Jake was eager to explore…

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But I made him stay in his stroller.

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“Aw, geez Mom…”

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I got a United Healthcare shirt to wear, so I took this selfie of Jake and I. We participated in a panel about therapy animals, sitting on the stage at a table while there was a slideshow presentation. I don’t have photos of that yet, but I should hopefully be getting some that I can share later.

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After the presentation, we hung out at the United Healthcare booth. There were several different stations in the booth, which was quite large. There was a Boston photo booth, so Jake and I posed for this…it needed a little Photoshop touch-up because the flash lit up Jake’s eyes (and yeah, while I was in there, I might have added a little lens flare).

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Another part of the booth was set up for visitors to create cheerful cards to send to children in hospitals.

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This is the one Jake and I drew.

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The inside says “Sending you sunshine.”

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Yet another section had a whiteboard for people to write their “What’s Next” moment.

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I cannot pass a whiteboard without doodling a cat on it, so I drew this…

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We also met Ralphie the Abyssinian guinea pig, of course!

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Ralphie and Nikki visit at the Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Center too, but we haven’t run into each other there, yet.

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Jake and Ralphie sat next to each other on the table at the panel. Despite being at different ends of the food chain, they seemed to have no instinctual problems with each other.

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I know it may not seem that way in these photos, but…

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…the BEST photo turned out blurry. I saved it by turning it into “art.”

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Abyssinian guinea pigs are “Abyssnian” because of their hair, not their colour. It has whorls and sticks up in odd places. They can be any colour that regular guinea pigs are, but Ralphie just happens to be whatever the guinea pig equivalent of ruddy is. I wonder what an Aby cat would look like with Aby guinea pig fur?

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After our duties at the United Healthcare booth were fulfilled, we were allowed to explore the rest of the event.

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There was a lot to see!

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We even met the Geico gecko!

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We stayed until 6pm, when the event closed for the day. We’d been there since 1:30, so it was a pretty long day for Jake.

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Despite that, he was still perky and cheerful.

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It was a great event and we had a wonderful time. I’m so glad that Jake and I were able to be a part of it all!