Friday, April 10, 2015

No Therapy For Us


After a few more Therapy Dog visits with Dot, it became apparent that therapy work just isn't Dot's calling.  She is a friendly dog, outgoing and willing to go and be anywhere.  She greets people.  She knows a command for go say hi and a command for resting her head on their lap.  But if were up to her, she'd spend about 10 seconds with each person and then move on!  She just wants to move, see what's next, get to the next room, smell the next hallway, see who is around the next corner.  She doesn't want to linger and let someone pet her for ages and ages.  She kind of wants to move on, which I can only imagine makes the person being visited feel left out and longing for more interaction, not exactly the feelings aTherapy Dog should bring out in people. 

When visiting nursing home patients or students stressed about finals, she is not the patient, ever-present calming force with others that she is with me.  With my husband and I, she is insistent and merciless in her quest for attention and petting.  She is the dog that nudges and rubs and forces your hand onto her.  And I thought sure she'd be that way with others, but not so.

After I had already made the decision and contacted our local therapy contact who had been supervising our visits, a friend posted a link to this blogpost.   It is so true, people want to be out with their animals, sharing them and doing good but it really is a small percentage of all dogs that actually enjoy and crave that type of activity.  While I wouldn't say the Dot didn't enjoy it at ALL, there were certainly other things she'd rather be doing if given the chance.
These two photos are examples of Dot would rather be!

4 comments:

  1. I admire the fact that you're taking your dog's feelings into consideration. I'm sure it's hard to scrap the all the time and training you went through. I see it in the show ring -- dogs who are obviously not enjoying themselves, with owners who don't want to "lose" all the money they've spent. It's sad. Best of luck finding an activity you both enjoy.

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    1. Thanks Kelley! It was a bit of a disappointment deciding to give up but I should have mentioned in the post what we WILL be continuing on with! Dot is all about agility these days so we'll be upping for training and I think she'll be ready for her first trial this summer! We'll also continue our quest for her third Open leg in obedience!

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  2. I agree with Kelley, good job keeping her needs and desires in mind. :-)

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    1. Thanks, it was hard to acknowledge at first but when I spent some quality time thinking about what Dot would say if she could talk, it made it easier. :)

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