Our sweet girl Dolly will turn 2 tomorrow, and in honor of this, I thought I’d post about how she has grown to be an absolute best friend to all who meet her.
We knew we wanted a dog who would be able to visit those who found comfort in canine companions in some spaces and places we frequent, such as hospice, working with children and youth, in hospital, and our community in general. We sure picked a good one, out of 13 pups!
So far, Dolly has made wonderful canine and owner connections in our neighbourhood while on walks, as well as resident connections at the Canadian Deaf Blind Association’s residence just up the street from us in Paris, ON.
We first stopped in on a walk after seeing kids with their respective support staff enjoying the weather on the patio. Dolly was so gentle and kind as she snuggled up to a handsome boy in his wheelchair, and drew the interest of a very curious, yet cautious younger boy who stayed just far enough away from licks and paw shakes that Dolly likes to freely give out.
Dolly’s caring and dutiful instincts arose just a couple of weeks ago, when after a long walk in the neighbourhood, another resident of the CDBA decided that he had had just about enough. A seat in our driveway seemed like the best place for him to sit and stop the walk in the homestretch up the hill to the residence. Sensing his distress, Dolly became anxious, and wanted to go to him. I directed her away from the man and his support, as I didn’t want the situation to become anymore distressing for the two of them. Seeing the intervenor struggle to have him stand, I wondered if he might follow Dolly if we were to walk along ahead of them. Thank goodness, our instincts were right. We walked down and a little ahead of them, and as soon as his eyes met the dog, he was up, and walking along behind her, taking in the scenery, persevering, and finishing the walk on a positive and happy note. I was so proud of Dolly, as she just wanted to make sure everything was alright, and seemed determine to be involved. The man’s intervenor and I had a nice chat while we all walked, and all was well. Dolly is officially on duty.
I have begun formal, and more focused training as pertains to visiting and comforting, and will update with progress and services available.
Please message me, or start a conversation on this post with any questions, comments, or inspirational stories about support dogs, other pets, people who train them, or who have benefited from their services.
Enjoy the day everyone. Make it a good one!