Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Working Dog

Last Saturday Katie and I went on our first official therapy dog visit to Easter Seals. I was a bit nervous before we went. When I was trying to pinpoint the exact cause of my nervousness I realized that I did not completely trust Katie to behave properly since she can still, on rare occasions, be a bit wild at times. Just coming to that conclusion made me relax. I told myself to assume that Katie was going to be good and to just be ready to assist if she acted out. My faith in Katie was justified. I think because I was relaxed and because the other therapy dogs were relaxed, Katie was calm and was a sweet gentle giant like a Newfie should be. Two of the other therapy dogs were Yorkies who have each had over 250 visits. There was also a standard poodle, a regular poodle and a golden retriever...all very sweet dogs.

Katie was by far the youngest and least experienced, but she acted like a pro. One of the little girls took great delight in walking Katie up and down the hallways. Thankfully my friend had told me to bring an extra leash to attach to Katie so the children could hold one while I held the other. Katie's favorite person was a young man in a wheelchair. They took quite a liking to each other. I think Katie liked the fact that he actually enjoyed receiving kisses from her and even praised her for giving them. It was quite a contrast to the way most people react to a slimy Newf kiss.

We are looking forward to our future monthly visits at Easter Seals. We will also start volunteer work with Hospice in early November after I complete my Hospice volunteer training in October. Finally, our working dog has a real job. She decided to follow in her father's footsteps and become a therapist. I'm so proud of my sweet Katie.


Kathryn and Ari said...

We're proud, too! That's so wonderful for both of you. Ari and I still talk about our CGC test, but we have a lot to learn before we reach Katie's level of dependability.

PS- Love the new banner for your blog!

The Zoo said...

I'm so proud of Katie! Give her a really big hug for us and tell her we are very, very proud of her (and you!)!