Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Official Therapy Poodle!

After nearly two months (due to my insane schedule of Too Many Classes and Trials.), Perri and I were finally able to meet with our Therapy Dogs Incorporated tester and have our final observation visit, so Perri is now an official certified therapy dog!  I am so proud of her!

Our visit lasted about a half hour.  Perri licked some hands, charmed a Harley motorcycle guy recovering from a stroke, performed her tricks, and let many people pet her curly hair.  She was more willing to approach wheelchairs this evening but was still nervous about beds, especially beds with padding underneath of them (to cushion possible patient falls.)  I actually think that therapy visits will serve as another step down the road of Confidence Building for Perri.  She loves people but can be frightened by environment.  Repeated exposure to things that make her nervous should help her overcome those anxieties.

I feel like our world is really wide open now.  Lots of opportunities.  Part of me wants to link up with a local group of people that do therapy visits together, but my schedule: Crazy!   I have a friend with a standard poodle named Daphnee who is also certified, so it is very likely that we will go on some visits together and I am looking forwards to that.   There is a long term inpatient  therapy unit at the hospital where I work and they seemed interested in getting Perri on board for some visits once she was certified.  My local library has a "Paws and Pages" program where kids can read to dogs one night a month.  They do this on a Monday (agility class night for Molly!) and already have three dogs, so my own library may be a dead end.  But I am hoping that they could point me in the direction of somewhere that would like to use Perri as a reading dog.  She is very laid back and I think that snuggling up with some kids and having a story read to her would be right up her alley.

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