Monday, June 16, 2014

Third Therapy Dog Visit

Isaac and I just finished our third therapy dog visit at the nursing home.  I really love seeing how much the residents enjoy seeing Isaac.  Actually, I enjoy seeing how much the staff enjoys seeing him, too.  There are a few staff members that always come over to visit with him and just seem delighted at his presence.

For some reason, a lot of the residents seemed concerned about whether I am feeding Isaac enough today.  People kept asking, "When do you feed him?  Are you going to feed him here?  What does he eat?  Does he eat a lot?  Does he eat ice cream?" and so on.  I kept assuring them that he eats plenty, that I gave him breakfast just a little while ago and that he is not starving.  Then I would ask, "Does he look too skinny?  Does he look like he doesn't get enough to eat?"  And they would say no, he wasn't too skinny and no, he didn't look like he doesn't get enough to eat.  But my goodness, he must have been really working the poor hungry puppy eyes today!

There is one woman, we'll call her Millie, who is always excited to see Isaac.  She was in bed today because she wasn't feeling well, but when we knocked on her door and she saw Isaac, her face lit up and she threw back the covers and sat up right away.  She hugged him and said, repeatedly, that he made her day.

There was another woman who was in bed but said she wanted to pet Isaac.  I asked her if it was OK for him to put his paws up on her bed, because it was going to be hard for her to reach him to pet him otherwise.  She said it was OK, so I told Isaac to do paws up, and instead he jumped up onto the bed with her!  It surprised me and it sure surprised the woman in the bed, too.  I asked her right away if it was OK or if she would prefer he get down, but she wanted him to stay.  He just lay right down beside her, like he was ready for a nap. 

I thought it was neat that he wanted to lie down with her, but I definitely don't want him to do that without me asking if it's OK first.  Over the next week, Isaac and I will be working on "paws up" on the bed.  I am also going to give him a command that means to get up on the bed.


  1. I taught my dog the command "cuddle" which meant she could get on the bed with me. She was a rottie mix and a very large dog. She got her own blanket because she would steal

  2. Sometimes when I ask my dog to do a paws up he jumps up instead. I'm not sure why he gets confused, but maybe because I pat or point to the place I want him to put his paws, and do the same when I use his "jump" command too. So he could be just watching my hand signal.
    By the way, reading about the therapy visits is really sweet. I can only hope that when I am too old or sick to care for a dog, someone will bring theirs to me for regular visits.

    1. I think Isaac sometimes guesses what I want rather than listening carefully. And I also pat the place I want him to put his paws or point to it - maybe I need to use a different hand signal for "jump" than for "paws up." That probably should have been obvious.

      Several of the nursing home residents have told me about dogs they have at home, which I guess means dogs that are now living with either their spouse or their kids or someone. The woman Isaac got in bed with showed me a picture of her dog.

      I really enjoy seeing how much some of the residents enjoy seeing Isaac. Their faces just light up.