So You Want To Be A Therapy Dog

by

Bunny taking over the keyboard here.

Thursday night was an exciting night during our nursing home visit.  It’s always exciting when we get to go, but this week it was especially good.  This week, Bella of The Hound Dogs fame made her first ever nursing home visit.  It was also our first time to meet her in person.  I can’t tell you all what an honor it was to meet her, even though she was feeling a little shy.

Pretty BellaThat crazy puppy, Luka, got in her face and she had to set him straight.  I feel that I should mention here that most of us experienced nursing home visitors have had to explain personal space to Luka.  He’s a little, well a lot, too forward, especially with lady hounds.  I have the advantage of having Kuster around to practice on, so I don’t have trouble with him, but he’s seven months old and thinks he’s Casanova.  I know Hound Dog Mom felt bad about it, but I don’t think she should at all.

The truth is, Bella and Luka are both new to visiting the nursing home.  It takes time to get your groove on there.  Both of them are still learning about things.  I wasn’t always a pro at visiting, either.  Mom spent about a year and a half moping about how I wasn’t as good as Treat at visiting until I had a great moment and really proved myself.  I spent time studying Blueberry and what she did, along with a few of my other Paw to Paw companions like Steppen and Journey.  They all had to learn from someone else, too.

Blueberry Works Her MagicSo, I’d like for Bella to know that I’m sure she’s going to make a great therapy dog and to stick with it.  She’s got a great wardrobe and really loves people.  Bella is always gentle and quiet.  Getting used to strange old people petting you isn’t easy.  However, Bella has impeccable manners, unlike a certain black fuzz ball here, who shall remain unnamed.  She doesn’t jump on people and patiently lets them come to her.  I just know she’s going to go far in this world, and one day, her human is going to look back and shake her head that she ever was apologizing for Bella.

Fashion Hound BellaWe all learn things at different times and in different ways.  Not every dog is made to be a therapy dog, either, but none of those who are start out perfect.  We all have to learn how to be partners with our humans.  Kuster learns from watching things and using his nose.  I learn from getting treats after I do something the right way.  I just know that you can’t give up.  You just give it your all and see what happens.

Pet Blogger HopWe’re participating in this Saturday’s Pet Blog Hop, hosting by Life With DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume.  If you’d like to participate, please follow the rules and follow your three hosts, add your blog to the Linky and copy and paste the html code into your html editor.  Thanks again to our hosts for putting on the hop!



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  • http://janet-bassetmomma.blogspot.com Bassetmomma

    How great that you got to meet Bella and are such an inspiration to her, Bunny! I think Bella did well for her first visit too! It’s nice of you and Blueberry to show her the ropes and give her some encouragement!

  • http://gracefulgreyhounds.blogspot.com Sue

    Glad you have Bella visiting as well now.

    Lovely photo of Blueberry.

  • Dragontearz

    I’m sure Bella will get the hang of it in no time. :)

  • sara, oreo and chewy

    How lovely that Bella is giving it a shot. She’ll be feeling more comfortable each visit.

  • http://www.hounddogmom.blogspot.com HoundDogMom (Sherri)

    Bunny, Bella wants to Thank You for the wonderful words of encouragement. She says she needs all the help she can get, because she was pretty overwhelmed by it all. We think next time we need to let you meet her outside the building. We think she will love you even more when she meets everyone outside. She has some issues with being inside and stuffs but she will get better like you said. Of course your Momma puts such nice words about her and writes so nice. We aren’t giving up, and we will be back next Thursday to try it again. Wait tell see what she wears next week, :) Sniffs, Bella and Mom

    P.S.. We are glad your Mom got a few pictures of her for us and of course we always love seeing you and your fancy colors.

  • http://www.twogreyhoundtown.blogspot.com Patty

    Bella is cute! I just read Bunny’s “great moment”. That was so sweet of her. You had to be so proud.

  • http://browndogcbr.blogspot.com/ Hawk aka BrownDog

    Hi Y’all,

    Just hopped over to catch up with your happenings and say hello! Have fun this weekend!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  • http://romp-roll-rockies.blogspot.com KB

    I hope that Bella bounces right back. She looks like the kind of dog who many people will gravitate to, and it sounds like she has the perfect personality for visiting nursing homes. It takes a special pup to be able to do that…

  • Schotzy

    Bella, I bet you’ll be a fantastic therapy dog. A lot of the nursing home residents probably feel the same way you did, a little overwhelmed by the experience. But then they see something familiar that brings back happy memories, like your sweet face and amazing ears, and they feel better and want to participate. Your visits mean so much to the residents and the staff. Keep up the good work!

  • http://gospelofgoose@blogspot.com Goose

    Sounds like Bella will be an example to follow. I sure hope she keeps at it. It is a much needed service. An I am gloald Miss Bunny got out there. I know she brings so much joy.
    Blessings,
    Goose

  • http://www.nannymcfur.blogspot.com Nanny McFur

    I love these programs. They are good for the seniors.

  • http://sagechronicles.wordpress.com/ Sage

    Bunny, you are right! You do learn from those who’ve been there before you. I’ve been thinking about being a therapy dog….I wish you lived closer so you could be my teacher!

  • http://TheElkaAlmanac.Blogspot.com Jen

    Bella sounds like she’s going to do just fine! I think “no jumping” is probably one of the most important facets of being a therapy dog ;) Besides, with Bunny to show ‘em the ropes, where can you go wrong?

  • http://genjiscorner.blogspot.com genjiscorner

    Therapy work is not for everyone, but it sounds like you are a real people dog. So, don’t give up Bella. I’m sure the residents are looking forward to your next visit.

  • http://2punkdogs.blogspot.com/ 2 Punk Dogs

    It’s great that you & Bella are making nursing home visits, it gives people something to look forward to on Thursdays. Maggie & Duke are impressed, they would have a hard time dealing with a lot of new people. Have a great weekend!

  • http://petblogsunited.blogspot.com Oskar

    I’m glad that beautiful Bella has someone like you to boost her confidence & show her the ropes.

    Nubbin wiggles,
    Oskar

  • http://rykerrules.blogspot.com Ryker

    Therapy dogs Rock!

  • Lorenza

    Sure it was pawesome to meet them, right?
    I know Bella will do a super duper job too!
    Happy Saturday to all of you!
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

  • http://rumpydog.com RumpyDog!

    No, not every dog is cut out to be a therapy dog. I’m certainly not. I love people but I am just not gentle around them. DeDe? Now she’d make a great therapy dog.

  • http://www.houseofcarnivores.blogspot.com Melanie Johnston

    I wouldn’t worry about a lady dog putting a pup in his place! That’s the way that dogs teach the young’uns to have some respect.

    I’m sure that she will do a great job as a therapy dog.

  • http://shawneetheshep.blogspot.com/ Shawnee the Shepherd

    Mom took me to try out the therapy dog thing when I woz yunger but it woz not my cup ‘o kibble. I kinda woofed at people when they freaked me out and back then, well, it didn’t take much to freak me out, so mom felt it woz too stressful an occupashun fur me (and fur her). So it woz not meant to be my path in life like Bandit, RIP, and Elliot, RIP, afore me.

  • http://hikinghounds.blogspot.com Caron

    My friend has a basset who is a therapy dog, Rose. She is great and I’m sure Bella will be too.

  • http://www.schoolnlife.com marilyn

    awww, well we all learn somewhere somehow lol. that must have been a great feeling to meet Bella

  • http://www.whatremainsnow.com Lori – What Remains Now

    Oh, I hope Bella doesn’t feel bad! She is so cute. If I were in the Nursing Home, I would love to see Bella! Keep going, Bella!