Long post ahead… Yesterday Riley and I went on two therapy visits. The first one was to the nursing home we go to every other Friday and then after that we went to the elementary school Grandma works at to visit with a fourth grade class.
Riley did outstanding at the nursing home! We visited with lots and lots of the residents and a lot of the staff as well. We went into one of the administrator’s offices to visit with her. She said we had missed her last time we came, so I’ll be sure to take Riley in there each time we visit. I taught Riley a new trick on Wednesday or Thursday that she picked up in about 10 minutes of training…it is Kyra Sundance’s “Peekaboo” trick where you stand with your legs spread apart and your dog comes up from behind you and sticks the front half of their body through your legs. Everyone got a kick out of that trick and got a good laugh out of it.
We, of course, visited with Mrs. K for a while and then we met a new resident, “Mr. M.” He was a new patient I think, because we’d never seen him before. We almost missed him, but on our way out one of the staff members asked if we visited his room. She said that he had just been telling her yesterday about how much he misses his dog and she told him that sometimes dogs come to visit. When we went in the room, his face just lit up and he got so excited. He couldn’t sit up in bed but he could reach his hand off of the side of the bed to pet Riley. His wife was there visiting with him and they had to tell me all about their Border Collie they have at home. His wife showed me pictures of their dog. We talked about dogs and dog training and we showed all of Riley’s tricks. I told Mr. M that we visit every two weeks and that we’ll be sure to come visit him every time we come. He told me that would be great and that if he wasn’t there when we come visit again that I’ll know that he’s happy at home with his dog. He was a really sweet guy and thanked me for bringing such a well behaved dog to visit him.
Now, on to the school. We ended up getting to the school about 10 minutes late because we spent a lot of time at the nursing home (which is fine by me). Luckily, the teacher of the 4th grade class we were visiting is one of my best friends, so we got excused for our tardiness! I knew Riley was going to get super excited to see Grandma there, so I was actually kind of relieved when we went in the office and she wasn’t in there. The other secretary told me she was down the hall. So on we went to the classroom. We happened to pass Grandma in the hall, but Riley knew she was on a therapy visit and ignored Grandma when we walked by.
We got to the classroom and when we walked in all the kids let out a huge “Awwwww!” Then they all stood up and said “Good afternoon Miss Elyse and Riley.” We only had about 5 minutes before the kids needed to pack up their book bags and head outside for recess before dismissal. So I quickly told the kids about therapy dogs and Riley and we let them come up one row at a time to pet her. Riley got a little nervous with all the kids around her and peed a little bit on the floor (I was soooo embarrassed). She let all the kids pet her but I could tell she was nervous about it–probably because it was a new situation for her. We showed off her tricks (of course!!) and then it was time to leave. Luckily I had cleaning supplies with me, so I cleaned up her little puddle before we left. On the way out the door, about 6 of the kids said “Happy President’s Day, Riley!” It was so cute.
Then we went back down to the office and saw Grandma…of course Riley had to get excited and jump on Grandma, but I expected that. As long as she doesn’t jump on anyone else, I’m fine with that…and she didn’t jump on anyone else. Then we high-tailed it out of there before the crazy dismissal process started!
When we got home, we spent a lot of time outside in the backyard in the sunshine…here are some pictures: