Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's tiring work being a workin' man!

Spike and I went to on our bi-weekly visit to the nursing home, the other evening. We've been going since we became certified through St. John Ambulance as a Therapy Dog team and I knew right away that he enjoyed the work; he pulls me through the doors, and he prances down the hallway as if he owns the place! What I didn't count on was how much I would grow fond of the people I visit and how much I would enjoy the work.

It didn't take Spike long to figure out he was there to work; for some people he will do tricks. For others, he'll sit calmly, head on their knee as they rub his ears. He knows our usual people and knows their rooms. When I get his bandana out, he becomes a different dog, focused, ready to go. I love that about Spike! He understands the time to work and the time to play.

We've been going since March and we've managed to break through to a few people and gotten them to share things I never thought they would share. There has to be value in that; if a person is lonely, locked in their room because they don't hear or see well but they are content to chat with me, while gently petting Spike then that's work well done.  And, it's been a gift to me to see Spike learn his job, learn the people and clearly love his time working.

And, when he comes home, he's a tired, tired boy!

He's fighting to stay awake there. And, even more so in this one, taken to show off his work uniform.

What a great gift to have a therapy dog!

1 comment:

Mango said...

I used to have a basset hound who was a therapy dog and we went to a nursing home most Saturdays. It was a wonderful experience for everybody and I miss is. Maybe when Dexter calms down a bit we can think of getting him certified (no hope for Mango I am afraid).

Mango Momma