A little while back I decided that my perfect angel needed to be shared with more people. Bring joy to the faces of other people. I realized that, without intending to be, I was being very selfish in my hoarding of my dog.
Sure, sure, he’s just a dog. He’s fuzzy and white and a sweetheart, but he’s just a dog.
But as of next weekend, he’ll be much more than that. Gizmo will become a Therapy Dog.
Gizmo and I went to an event at a dog park where we came across a tent for Share-A-Pet. While I picked up information and chatted with the volunteer, Gizmo sat quietly by my side and impressed the hell out of another volunteer. So I put my name on the contact list and started looking into becoming part of the organization.
We waited a while before attending an information session because of my hectic February/March schedule, but we ended up going and signing up. Within an hour he had slayed the room. They were in love with him. And, if I want to brag… they were pretty impressed with me as well. Gizmo and I have spent a good amount of time together in training and we are very in tune with each other. I can anticipate a lot of what he’s thinking about doing and he can anticipate my reaction pretty well.
So we were told we’d need some polishing up on some things, we were given some homework and came back to training every week for the last month. We practiced sitting and staying in ALL environments (including when we’re in the middle of walking), practiced laying down and staying for over a minute. We’ve practiced him walking right next to me without me holding the leash tightly. We’ve learned how to get pet by a person in a wheelchair. We’ve learned to ignore things that are dropped on the floor. He’s ready. I hope.
Next week he will get tested. So we’re practicing extra hard this week – without treats (because we can’t use them in the test.) The training sessions and the testing are as much for me as they are for him and that makes me nervous. If I get upset, angry or anxious, Gizmo is going to know and he’ll react in kind. I just need to remain calm and continue to beam with pride at my dog who is smart and obedient and sweeter than rock candy through none of my own doing.
I’m oddly proud of my dog. Like, when people tell me how cute he is I always say thank you, as though I had anything to do with it. He also is HUNG, which is a weird and gross thing to say about your dog, but it’s so G D noticeable…
Once he is certified and passes his test, there will be some celebrating. I’m thinking a dog park trip. Maybe Jazz Brunch. BUT, then it’s down to business. Gizmo and I will be donating our time and his amazing-ness to a nursing home near where we live. At LEAST once a week we will go and meet people, spend time with them and try to bring just a bit more joy to the lives of others.
Again, I’m just trying to put some good out there in an attempt to try and scrape my way out of the darkest realms of the underworld.
And now for more pictures: