I did it! I went on my first therapy job. It was so great. Mom and I were scheduled to go to a retirement home on Dec 7th but the Icemageddon of 2013 hit and the roads weren’t safe. So we got to go on our first visit Saturday, Dec 14th. (Again – my dependence on mom and her opposable thumbs has prevented me from updating you sooner. Apparently the holiday season is a crazy-busy time for you humans).
We showed up at the home and waited on Hilda to come meet us to show us around. She was so nice and introduced to a lot of people. Since we got there after lunch most people had just had eaten and were on their way to bingo. Many of the rooms were empty but if someone was in the room we usually just popped in to say “hi” and to introduce ourselves. Other times we stayed for a while and I got a lot of attention. Sometimes people would ask if I was a boy or girl. Mom would say “girl” but then they would say “He is such a good boy.” Later we laughed about that.
As we were making the rounds in one hall, a man met us on his way to bingo. He was nice and he R-E-A-L-L-Y liked me. We talked to him for a long time. I guess he didn’t care he was late for his bingo. He told us about the dogs he had before he moved there and he even wanted me to get up in his lap while in his wheel chair. Mom helped by putting my front paws up in his lap. I wasn’t very comfortable but I could tell it made him happy so I stayed a while. When I was ready to get down I moved very slowly to be gentle. Later mom complimented me on my gentleness. I think she forgets I’m a registered therapy dog for a reason and I know what I’m doing.
Another lady was sleeping in her chair the first time we walked by her room. Her door was wide open so we could see she was awake as we came back down the hall so we went in to say hi. Mom said this visit left the biggest impression on her. The lady just sat there and looked at us for a while. Then when she wanted to talk she moved her mouth but nothing came out. So I went closer to her so she could pet me if she wanted to. She just sat there for a while then in one motion just lunged forward to pet me. That one action told us she liked that we stopped by, she didn’t have to say it. We didn’t stay in her room long but it was a nice visit.
We saw people in all different levels of health. Some didn’t seem to fully understand what was going on but would reach out to pet Lola with their frail little hands. In some rooms, people wanted me to hop up in the bed with them. Hilda would say “Maybe next time”. Mom is trying to find out when next time will be and if I really can get in the bed with them or not. That really is where I do my best work but that might make it where we can’t go see as many people.
Until next time!
-Lola, Registered Therapy Dog