Two visits!

My therapy dog Danny and I recently visited Care One in a town not too far away. Care One facilities are probably our favorite since everyone is always so welcoming! The staff ADORE pet therapy visits and there is always one staff member who takes us around the facility. The residents and their visiting family members scoop Danny right up (luckily he doesn’t mind) and cuddle him or put him on their laps. Unlike Merry Heart, when we visit Care One we go room-to-room. We don’t meet in a common room or two and usually there is no show-down of all his fancy tricks, but somehow there’s extra love in each visit. Or so I think. I’d ask Danny how he feels, but he’s just as happy licking every stranger’s face.

Pet therapy bound! (notice the nifty bandana?)

Pet therapy bound! (Notice the nifty bandana?)

Also, even more recently, Dannydog and I went to Merry Heart again. As usual we visited the third floor Alzheimer’s unit first and then the other meeting area for residents who aren’t as sick. Upstairs we were greeted by a staff member who cuddled Danny for a bit. Then I went around the circle letting everybody who wanted to pet the dog. Quick aside–One of the ladies told me I had nice teeth :D. Anyway, this time downstairs there was a nice crowd. Naturally, Danny performed all of his fancy tricks–including hide-and-seek of a mini water bottle! <– crowd favorite.


I have a feeling this might be our last visit for a while as school starts up again soon :/ however, Danny and I will still be doing everything we can to spread smiles and raise awareness for dogs that heal! 


Day Two PTP!

Today was the second out of three lessons in the Pet Therapy Prep class at Morris K9 Campus (for me and Danny anyway!). That’s right, folks, another private lesson! This one was only about 45 minutes because we didn’t go through that evaluation sheet like last time. 

Instead, Robin had Danny and I practice loose-leash walking, sit, down-stay, come, meeting a friendly stranger, sit for petting, noisy crowd, enthusiastic petters, and some handling/restraining hugs. 

For the loose-leash walking I had Danny on my left side and said “let’s go.” He walked with me at my side and then Robin–imitating the evaluator–told me to turn 180 degrees to start walking toward her again, then turn left, then turn right, then stop, all with Danny watching my body for cues and staying calmly on my left side. He had a bit of trouble walking on my left side as I turned to the left quite spastically. After a couple of minutes of walking around turning in all different directions, he caught on and did well when Robin asked us again. 😀

Then, we clipped the long-leash line and I had him sit (which he did) and lay down (which he did) and stay (which he did). Then I walked to the end of the long line, turned around, came back to him, and gave him a treat. I walked out into a different direction turned around and called him, releasing him of his position. We repeated this a few times because after the first treat, (whether I had food or just petting) Danny stood up. Although he stayed in his spot, he still got up so I made the correcting ah-ah noise and asked for a lay down again. After a few tries we were done with this exercise. 

Then we met a friendly stranger, which was really just Robin along with a dog Danny had never met before. We did this a few times with this one medium-sized dog and at the end of class we did it again with a larger dog and then a large dog. This is the one where Danny and I approach them, he sits, the other dog sits, and the owners shake hands. Then the owners turn and walk away, with their dogs showing no signs of aggression or stress. 

We did another noisy crowd and enthusiastic petting (separate events) like I posted about last time. We also did a restraining hug and ear-and-paw-touching, the former which still bothered Danny a bit but not as much. I have to practice this with him more before next tuesday which is our evaluation!

Thursday is our last class/private lesson before our test on Tuesday, which I have to leave school for! Although Robin believes Danny and I will pass it, I’m still nervous about the test :0 !

I wish my mom would stop laughing and encouraging when the dog jumps because it’s going to cause me points on Tuesday..