Sunday, February 27, 2011

Therapy Dog at Your Service

{Hello there!}

I don't know what it is but I've been slacking lately. On blogging, on training, on housework... Sheesh. I keep thinking that Spring's arrival will spring me back into action. I sure hope I'm right!

With Gilda's Pet Partner's test looming a mere 2 weeks away, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the home where she was the 'Unofficial Therapy Dog' last year. (Unfortunately, it is a HIPAA violation to post photos of the clients). April and I took Gilda at dinner time. It is a place I have missed and I was very happy to see the clients. They, of course were more thrilled to see April than anything!

Gilda for her part was fantastic. She seemed to remember the place and was very relaxed. She visited anyone and everyone who called out to her. She wandered around the home a bit but was always aware of where I was and came to me each and every time I called her. Oh how I wish this was true on walks, during class, in the yard etc...

I challenged her to walk between 2 walkers and around moving walkers and she did so very comfortably. Most amazing is her 'patience' with the clients. Some of them are very difficult to understand and yet Gilda would stay by them trying to figure out what it was they were asking her to do. (At times, she felt they were a little too slow with the treats and she'd jump up)

She posed repeatedly for a photo while one client tried and tried (and tried and tried) to get her cell phone camera to work. (I think the client finally ended up with a blurry side-of-the-head shot). She jumped up on the bed of one client (when cued) who preferred to spend time in her room away from all of the activity.

Part of her success I think was that I was calm and comfortable there. I'm trying to keep this in mind as Testing Day approaches! My plan is to go through with the testing as Gilda is fully capable of passing. She still has many faces though and can be surprisingly good, surprisingly nervous, and unfortunately surprisingly bad (case in point, she ran off after deer today during her walk with Mike. Something she hasn't done for months!).

If she doesn't pass the Delta Society's Pet Partners test, my plan is to get her Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate and volunteer with her at local nursing homes until the next Doggie Brigade test in March 2012.

Crossed fingers and prayers that Good Gilda shows her cute face on March 11 are all appreciated!
{How could I ever be bad?}

1 comment:

Catalina said...

Awww what a little honey! I hope you test goes well :)