Hopeful’s First Therapy Dog Visits
both to the Alzheimer’s Unit
Hopeful made her first visits as a certified therapy dog to my friends at the Alzheimer’s Unit to whom I take a dog every Wednesday afternoon. I am grateful that Joy, the staff member with whom I work closely, thought to bring her camera. She was too busy with the residents, who were excited to enjoy Hopeful’s first visits, to use the camera much; most of the photos she took on her cell phone. She didn’t get a chance go photograph everyone during the hour we were there.
Hopeful’s litter (the SS litter) was one of the few of my litters who didn’t get to visit the nursing homes at 5 – 7 weeks. They were born at the beginning of the covid shutdown, so this was not only Hopeful’s first therapy dog visit, it was also her first every visit to a medical facility. She did great! I was super proud of her.
The first woman to interact with Hopeful always gives the dogs massages down their backs. Hopeful thought that was okay! She really liked Hopeful and got playful with her ears, which confused Hopeful but was just fine with her.
The second woman was having a tough day, and it was heartwarming to see her cheer up as she interacted with Hopeful.
The third woman usually cries during our visits because she misses her dog so much. Today, though, she was all smiles.
We did a room visit to the next-to-last man. He really got excited when he saw Hopeful.
Hopeful started her second visit obviously understanding what she was there for. Joy just had a chance to snap photos of two residents with her cell phone today.
Hopeful did a great job of interacting with the residents, often laying her chin in their lap. We visited several residents in their rooms today. She tried hard to get close enough that they could pet her. What a good girl!!
I had to laugh at the third photo. When she doesn’t quite understand what I want, she often puffs out her upper lip. This is the first time I’ve gotten a photo of it. I think she was confused at my trying to get out of the photo. You can see it didn’t last long.
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