Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Doggie Brigade Visit

After a lengthy hiatus, Gilda made a visit to some of the kids at Akron Children's Hospital today. I was a little nervous about how she'd do since it had been such a long time but she was great!

I wasn't going to post about her visits here because I was trying to keep the blog mainly about Agility. However, I think the two activities actually complement each other nicely.

Agility training has helped teach Gilda focus and handler-focus both of which help her in the often chaotic hospital setting. Hospital visits have helped with her noise and movement issues. She now willingly gets on the elevators, even the glass-walled ones. She is still a little too eager to get off but we're working on that. She is also better about navigating the stairwells which often echo and require her to walk with people behind her. We are hoping that some of this will translate to the Teeter!

Clicker-taught tricks help to get her focus back when unexpected noises happen or lots of people crowd around. In those cases, we do hand-touches, waves, high-fives, and downs.

I am always amazed at how well she does when she's there. She just seems like the most well-adjusted, confident, social dog which aren't usually words we use to describe Gilda (I'm so glad she can't read!).

The biggest payoff today was seeing a patient smiling and willing to sit up and move around to see Gilda. Mom reported that they haven't been able to get the patient to move much since surgery last week. It doesn't get more rewarding than that!

1 comment:

Monica Callahan said...

Oh that is wonderful! Good job Gilda. :) I hope Doc follows in your foot steps and can light up some children's lives.