As I was going to the doctor on Wednesday, I thought I would check with the hospital volunteers about visiting dogs. Their response was different to the “thrilled to have him” of the first time I went to see them. Now it was “We have 2 dogs already”. Of course, in my 9 years at the hospital I have seen visiting dogs only twice.
I HATE being messed about, so, as I have now decided that the hospital volunteers can get stuffed, I started to look for other places, and found the web site for Therapy Dogs Services Inc. (http://www.tdsinc.info/)
I will wait for a while until I know what is happening at work, then make some enquiries. The difference is that we would do regular visits (every week, not every 4.5 years), and TDSI organises visits to private hospitals, schools nursing homes and community centers.
The benefit of schools and community centers is that I can also give GAP some advertising. Another benefit of TDSI is that they do not need the Trained Dog Certificate, and having seen the training at the local club last week, I KNOW I can do better myself. TDSI just has a dog temperament evaluation, and having seen his temperament recently, Rassilon will have no trouble passing that.
Yesterday I took Rassilon to the vet for his vaccinations, and he was so well behaved it was fantastic to see. The last time we went to the vet, I had to drag him through the door, and he wouldn’t even stand on the scales (yesterday…36.2Kg = 79.8Lb), and when I was talking to one of the vets Rassi was leaning away from the door, but he was leaning against my leg and was actually pushing into me. Yesterday he went straight in, he let the vet check him and touch him all over, she even took him away to clip his nails and check his ears, and he went with her.
As a result of all that, we have found out he has a mild infection in his right ear, and I have cream to put in twice a day. But seeing his behaviour was the high point of the visit. How he has improved. He didn’t even bother when other dogs rushed at him.
Today we went to Reynella shops for a walk. The thing I like about Reynella is that the shops are all in 1 row with the footpath in front of them, so, while Rassilon is in among all the people, he does have some way out, but he has never needed it. And today was no exception. He was patted quite a few times, and when I was having a cup of coffee and talking to someone, Rassilon decided that that person should be patting him as well.
Seeing the way Rassilon has turned out, and how friendly he is and how he controles himself when people move quicker than he likes, I know he would be a fantastic therapy dog.
(Strangely, the only thing that bothers Rassilon at Reynella is 2 shops have plastic strip curtains on their doors, and Rassi tries to get away from them, even pushing into me in his effort).
Now this is what you call a guard dog.