Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Therapist Is In: Visits 3, 4 & 5

Whazzup guys?! Check out my new bling!Pretty sweet, huh? Last night I was officially certified as a therapy dog. All 3 of my working observations were completed, forms sent in, reviews and evaluations done, tests passed and I'm in!
I got a form that was a summary of my 3 working observation evaluations (filled out by the chair person of 3 different programs, after I attended each of their visits and they watched me work my magic). I GOT PERFECT SCORES!My folks are hanging this one on the human meat locker. I'm feeling pretty good. Can't wait to show this new license off at the bark park this week.

In other therapy news, I've been on 3 more visits and have been rather delinquent in blogging about them. The first skipped visit was at the children's hospital and it was a rather uneventful one for us. My friend recovering from brain surgery wasn't there, and there were very few kids to play with us. Mom and I got there super early that day and an entire office full of adult humans emptied into the hallway to play with me, which was super crazy awesome. I did combat crawls on my belly, rolled over for tummy scratches, and skipped from one person to the next for some lovin'. I was SO EXCITED with all those folks circled around and me in the middle - the center of attention and the only one getting pets that I just about passed out right there from exhaustion. Still, once my therapy buddies arrived we all went upstairs and worked our little bums off. However, by the end of the visit I was passed out cold in a chair next to an extraordinarily gentle little girl who stroked me from schnozzle to tail while I snoozeled. AWESOME! Mom had to keep a hand on me because I was so sound asleep that I began slipping through an arm hole. I totally didn't care! Man. I was tired that day.

The next trip was to a school with classes for learning disabled children. Their abilities ranged from almost fully capable of any task, to unable to walk or coordinate movements. I met up with a springer spaniel and his mom. I looked like the springer's puppy roaming the hallways. Boy did we get attention! We were like bookends! He was a cool black and white dude and about twice the size of me. Together we visited 2 different classrooms and performed our tricks and entertained the kids, then we worked on life skills with them and had them each participate one by one. It was a good program, but some of the kids are a little too rough for a wee beast such as myself. It's not the kids' fault by any means... that program is just better suited to a larger dog. Plus, the kids would come running from the back of the room and try to pick me up since I'm all small and I kinda look like a stuffed toy. I always gave mom the "Save Me!" eyes if I was uncomfortable or if a kid was being too rough with me and we'd move on. Whew! I was a crazy Good Boy though and tolerated everything. It was a great to learn about a school program, but I don't think I'll be signing up for that one full time. I might be a beast but I'm a sensitive boy.

Yesterday, mom and I went back to the hospital. We're full-time in that program, and it's just perfect for me. Once again we got there early and that office full of humans came out to give me my welcome parade of pets and tummy rubs. Sweetness!! When my buddies arrived we went upstairs to the play room. That's when mom started to warm me up and get me to focus on my job, and I discovered after a few routines that...

SHE BROUGHT STRING CHEESE SLICES!!!!!!

Awesome! Talk about motivation! I'll do back flips for cheese! The only problem was that I was a little too crazed about feasting on cheese that I was non-stop performing tricks and running through my repertoire. I kept doing Sit, Down, Up-Up (jump on a chair), Watch Me and Hulas over and over and over. It was exhausting! However, it didn't take long for me to realize that if I was doing tricks without being asked, that I only got cheesy treats when doing Down Stay. So... I did a lot of Down Stay that afternoon. Sometimes mom called it "Settle." Whatever. I call it "The Means To Cheesy Snacks."

Anyway, we had just a few visitors this time as most of the kids in the hospital weren't able to get clearance to play with us pups. Boo! There was one extremely sweet boy in a wheel chair who just LOVED seeing us dogs and missed his pup terribly. I spent a lot of time sitting in a chair next to him while he massaged my mohawk and told me over and over how cute I am. That's the life! Afterward a little girl was brought in - about 3 years old - and she sat on a nurse's lap on the floor. She was a little scared of dogs so I did Down Stay next to her and acted all calm until she felt brave enough to pet me. Boy oh boy did she surprise us all! With strength that no tiny human should ever have, she snagged my ear and began to make origami out of it. Ouch! It only took a second before my lobe was freed and I decided to teach her a lesson and stood up to lick her face. HA! She squealed and thrashed with laughter. Seriously dudes. I know how to work the humans.

I had all but given up on seeing my friend who had the brain surgery, when she was wheeled into the room. I zoomed over and plopped myself in a chair in her line of vision. She looked GREAT! She was able to stay awake the whole time, and on her own she was able to cup her hand so mom could give her a bit of cheese, then reach out and feed it to me. Yes, cheesy chunks hit the ground a few times but WOW! Talk about big news. She was even able to stroke my ear and chest fur with the back of her hand without any help. A whole month has gone by since I've seen her last, and I am so impressed to see such improvement. I can't wait to see her next time.

So that's it folks. I'm one happy boy. And a tired boy. There's nothing better than a belly full of cheesiness and a few mohawk pets. Mom is looking into another program for me so I can work once a week, instead of twice a month. My toes are crossed that there's a match. I need to do this more often!
'Til next time feaster dudes!
Big Pupi

18 comments:

Niamh said...

Love the new jewelry Big Pupi! You should be very proud of yourself. Therapy dog activities are hard work. But the rewards are great. It doesn't get much better than a combination of string cheese and petting.

Glad that your little friend is doing better. I am sure your visits really help her.

Your friend,
Niamh

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

What a grrrrrreat post full of the good stuff (like cheese)!

Woo soooo deserve the pawesome new blingie tag!

Khongrats!

I think woo get another piece of cheese fur that!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Byron y Xinver said...

Congrats! Wonderful team it says....

FleasGang said...

Way to go BP and Mom! That was a great update - especially hearing about your little girl friend that was able to pet you all by herself.

So how's Stan doing in his obedience class?

Shelly & Tommy

Mason Dixie said...

Good job Big Puppi, that is quite an accomplishment. Hope you get to do it more than once a month. =)

Joe Stains said...

Congrats buddy! That is quite an accomplishment for sure!

Trudis said...

Hi Big Puppi, congratulations on your job well done. We are so proud of you! :)

Trudis and all the Animal Doctor's pets

Lorenza said...

Congratulations Big Puppi!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Koobuss said...

Wow!! That's beautiful!!

You have such a good time and help cheer up so many. That's got to be the best job in the world!!

Congratgulations!

Love and Koobuss Kisses,
Koobie

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Well done!

Stanley said...

Pupi!

You're changing lives forEVER, man! I am humbled and excited everytime you post about your therapy visits. I'd LOVE to be able to do what you do, but I'm not gentle enough for my size. My girl harbors hopes that Stella might be able to work in AAT. (Stella's much gentler with hoomans than she ever is with me.)

I'm glad you got to see your friend recovering from brain surgery. That's so cool that she's making improvement. Hope the once a week gig works out. Your skills need to be utilized! Also, there is much more cheese that needs to be eaten by a beast such as yourself!

Goober love,
Stanley

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

Wow, that is SOOO pawsome that you got that spiffy new bling! And your visits are SOOOO cool! I wish I could be a therapy doggie just like you...=) Don't know if that will happen, but it's good to wish, no? *wink* Hope you have a great week!

Scottie

Bae Bae said...

That's really pawsome Big Pupi and your tag lookg great too

~ Bae

Maggie and Mitch said...

Congratulations, Big Pupi! That is one handsome tag! We are very proud of you!
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa for cheese!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Mack said...

That is just so pawsomely cool dude!
Who wouldn't be cheered up by that handsome 'hawk?!?!

Coco said...

Thats amazing news Big Pupi! your grades are perfect right across the board and your new bling is so beautiful!

I'm really proud of you!

Tail Wiggles & Puppy Kisses,

Coco - The Princess

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Saint Big Pupi! Well done, that's some pawsome bling too!
Slobbers xx

duo_disaster said...

BP, that badge is so awesome!

We wish we can have it, minus the therapy part thou, lol! Lovely lovely, we cant take our eyes of that rainbow on it!

Oh yeah, what's the rest of the badge about? You have so many!