Monday, October 20, 2014

Therapy Dogs

This weekend Luke, Kizzy and I started a new chapter in our lives -- that of a pet therapy team! We haven't gone through any official certification and I don't really have the time (or let's admit it, the desire....) to go through those classes. Maybe one day.

A while back I found out that the nursing home where I go to volunteer to help with bingo with the Lions club is cool with dogs coming along (well, if you don't count the one staff member who is crazy scared of dogs...). I believe it was in the beginning of September that I started to look into the possibility of volunteer opportunities with the dogs. The only requirements that they had were that the dogs be current on everything and that the activity director meet the dogs first to give the okay.

I filled out the application and went through the background check last month, but then it was one thing after another that caused us scheduling difficulties and kept putting off our ability to get together. We finally made it work last week and the dogs and I got the grand tour. I didn't have to work at Petco until 5:00 on Saturday, so we planned for me to go in at 11:00 for our first visit.

It was just a super visit! Luke was his normal chill self who was great about meeting everyone, but Kizzy was the real surprise of the day. She was born to be a therapy dog, apparently. She repeatedly jumped into any lap offered and cuddled right in to make herself at home. The smile she (and Luke, too) brought to so many residents' faces was just priceless. The staff member that went around with us told me that she had us linger with one resident a bit longer because it was one of the rare times she'd ever seen the woman express any sort of emotion (we were in the Alzheimer unit). Another woman just hugged and squeezed her for the longest time with a giant smile on her face.

We kept our first visit to an hour. I didn't want to overdo the dogs on their first visit and it was pretty much time for lunch by then anyhow. Kizzy slept the entire short ride home, so it definitely is tiring for them. I'm looking forward to our next visit.

There was a NADAC trial in town this weekend and I didn't go. At all. It was kind of weird, but kind of not. Several people in town for the trial stopped by Petco Saturday night and I got to visit with them, which was nice. I was hoping to maybe drive over to visit a bit on Sunday, but the day just got away from me and it got too late to bother. Saturday was busy with Secret's chiro visit, the therapy dog visit and work at Petco, but I kind of did next to nothing on Sunday. Oh well, those days are good to have.

We have three days of AKC coming up this weekend! It's another tiny trial. We follow that up with a day of USDAA the following Sunday, so I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks!

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