Friday, January 30, 2009

Romeo's Therapy Dog Day

Today Romeo had his supervised visit at Eamer Court. With the St. John Ambulance therapy dog program, dogs must first pass the certification test, which Romeo did last fall, then the handlers get screened through references and back ground checks. Once all of that clears, the regional coordinator works at finding a placement for that particular dog and handler team. Since I already have two facilities that I visit with Gio, I told our regional coordinator not to worry about finding Romeo a facility of his own right now, I would just switch off between the two dogs. And, because Gio was busy with his visits, it wasn't a big rush to get Romeo set up at either place. Well, with Gio's health being as it is, I didn't want to wait too much longer in getting Romeo set up. I really dislike having to cancel our visits if Gio isn't doing well, so at least this way I can just switch the dogs and still keep our scheduled visitation times. The final formality before Romeo can officially visit as a SJA therapy dog was the supervised visitation, where a regional evaluator tags along with us on a visit and grades Romeo's performance and my handling. That was what today was, so now that that is out of the way Romeo can official visit as a SJA therapy dog.

He really likes this gig! I'm actually quite surprised. He is normally quite reserved around strangers, as most Shelties are, and I would have thought him to be too high energy to really settle into the therapy dog role at such a young age. But with his ladies at the retirement center, he is right at home! And, even more oddly, he is quite the lap-cuddler with those ladies! At home, he will pounce up on your lap, smother you in kisses, bite your glasses and then jump down again. With his ladies, he just wants to jump on their lap and curl up for a good cuddle. To the point where I actually had to call him back to prevent him from inviting himself onto a couple of people's laps today. Usually, he is more than happy to stay on the floor, so that is something new that I will need to keep an eye out for during visits.

It is hard work, though. You know, all that cuddling and scratches and looking cute and such. Enough to tire a guy right out!

No comments:

Post a Comment