We did it!
Coda & I passed our certification test for the pet assisted therapy
program this afternoon with flying colors!
There was one section, when several people were crowded around
us yelling at each other (simulating the erratic and unpredictable
behavior that can sometimes occur in certain settings) where Coda
let our a bark. But, as soon as I re-directed his attention and
I asked the people to "Please quiet down, so you can visit with
the dog!" they did so, and Coda was more than happy to head
into the fray for petting. Good recovery, "Big Red". :-)
All of the other sections went very well, especially the section when
he was "visiting" with a woman who pretended to have a motor function
problem, and was wheelchair bound. She balled her hands into fists,
and smooshed on his face, and he adored her! I "assisted" her in
petting gently, and he was allowed up to "paws up" onto her lap (w/
the permission of the pretend nurse). Afterward, she said that of
all of the dogs they'd tested (both on Saturday & Sunday--about 10
dogs before us), Coda was the first one that really tuned in to
her and wanted more attention from her. Good boy.
We have our first visitation Tuesday evening, along with a few
others from the workshop. It will be supervised by the instructor,
at a place where she regularly goes for visitations. Hopefully,
after that, we'll be able to be part of the "Library Dogs" program,
where children who have reading difficulties read aloud to dogs.
After the certification and getting our photos taken for our name
badges, we shared a cheeseburger. Now he & Bodhi are
helping "Dad" mow the yard.
Good boy, Coda, good boy.
Shelly (Proud as can be) & The Boys