I have to say I am bursting with pride because of Rassilon and his visitation skills. And today we had the Therapy Dog Services trainer with us, and she has said she is going to give a glowing report on Rassilon because of how he behaved today.
But let’s go back a week or two. We went to Daws Park nursing home
We haven’t been there for a while, but Rassilon knew where he was. We started a bit early because one of the residents was going to go out for some x rays and was going to miss the dog visit, so we went in early just to visit him. On the way back we saw an area with some chicks in it. That was there so the residents could watch the chicks hatch and grow.
But of course Rassilon saw it too. He put his nose right against the pen they were in, but he only looked, no attempt to bite or even bark.
After the visit I was allowed to have a cup of coffee while I did the paperwork, so I went into the lounge area and Rassilon lay down and I went to the kitchen to make the coffee. Against the (stupid) law and TDS rules, I dropped his leash and left him alone, with the following result…
Today we went to another new facility where Rassilon would face something he has never had to face before.
We were working on the top floor today, so for his first time, Rassilon had to face…an elevator.
He walked in with no problem, not even a little hesitation. I took him to the back of the lift and knelt beside him and hugged him as the lift went up. His ears were forward and he was trembling a bit, but only when the lift was moving. When the door opened, he casually strolled out. he didn’t pull on his leash or try to get out quickly, he walked perfectly beside me. Sandra, the trainer, wes very impressed. (Almost as impressed as me).
She was telling me they had one dog that got in a lift then panicked and froze and they couldn’t get it to move out of the lift.
We went around to visit residents and staff, and Rassilon was very forward today. Some people got a kiss, and some people got a bark, and everyone was thrilled by him. Even the staff didn’t mind his barking, because they could see he was wagging his tail and it was a friendly bark.
Of course, Rassilon’s big test came about 90 minutes later when it was time to go down in the lift.
Same procedure, Rassi walked perfectly into the lift without the slightest hesitation, to the back of the lift, big hug, even less trembling, and walked out perfectly. He has never been in a lift before, and I know they can be daunting things if you have never seen one before, but Sandra and I were both extremely impressed by how Rassilon coped with it.
We go back there next week and the week after that, and I think that by then the lift will hold no worries for Rassi.
On the way home we stopped off at Hungry Jacks and got a hamburger each and I had a coffee, After that we went to a little park opposite the HJ’s car park and Rassi had a pee, then we came home and Rassi is asleep on the floor next to me. In a minute he will be asleep on the bed next to me, because that is where I am going, for a mid afternoon “Nanna Nap”.
(Rassilon has woken up. He went out and has come back in puffing and panting, which means ZOOMIE. He has also told me, in his own inimitable way, he wanted a ‘chooky foot’, which I gave him and he is now crunching up in the garden. (his chickens feet are frozen in packs of 3)
My father was a man of few words.
I always remember him saying to me, “Son”