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first visit for first adoptable therapy dog

by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-09-18 02:29

Bob visited Wabash Valley Hospital.

date: 2008-09-17 (4788 days ago)

dogs: Sarge/Bob/Calder

Yesterday I was asked to take a dog to Wabash Valley for Caring Paws. I needed to rearrange a meeting so I didn't agree until late but the scheduler (Billie) made it work. I thought quite a bit about which dog to take and it suddenly hit me that Bob was now eligible to go on Caring Paws visits. He has a high energy level but he loves to work the room. It would be a good place for his first visit.

I brushed and brushed Bob in the morning but the fur kept coming. Finally we left in time to arrive right at 10:30 We only waited a few minutes for an escort but I tried working Bob on simple commands to see how he was doing. He was marginal and obviously interested in everything around him. It's not that he was making noise or moving a lot; he just wasn't focused on me. That's not such a terrible thing for a dog who is going to visit people.

We took the elevator to the second floor and Bob was steady yet interested in the other riders. When we arrived in the activity room full of people he immediately started making the rounds. He was a natural. While he visited with everyone I told the story of his time with us and talked a bit about the rescue operation. Everyone was kind to Bob and most seemed interested in learning more about him.

On my way to the hospital Kitty had called to say that she was ready to take a break from grooming Marley and wondered if I'd like another dog. I requested Jarreau (who was groomed last week) and they arrived about 15 minutes after Bob and I did. I'd prepared the group for a Giant Schnoodle and Jarreau made a good impression despite being excited about Bob and a little timid about everyone else. Jarreau was easy to manage and it was good for him to have a short visit.

We all went to the back lot afterward and enjoyed watching the dogs run. It was especially interesting for me to see how these two behaved on their own. Usually we have many more dogs in the pack. Jarreau demonstrated his "calming behaviors" each time Bob would zero in on him. And then they'd be right back to running.

There were several Purdue nursing students observing and one asked about getting involved. It sounds like several students would like to work with the dogs. We need to finalize plans and have a callout soon.

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