Hello friends! I want to share my good time with you. Shelby, Nikki, Baxter, and I had a fun time visiting the nursing home last evening. Or should I say, visiting with friends. You can see Shelby had a good time. She was smiling to show her “toofers” while she got a belly rub. It was one of several belly rubs.
Nikki did her usual sitting on the couch and asking to be petted. It’s not overly exciting for anyone who’s not sitting on the couch but it’s her thing. People going by still comment how cute she is. She knows how to work it.
Baxter wasn’t sure at first but he has developed a real liking for going on these visits. Part of it is because I praise him profusely since he is such a good boy and listens to what I ask of him. And there’s also that car ride which, I’m sure, is a big factor.
Shelby is a pro now and makes the rounds so that everyone gets a turn at petting her. She keeps looking over at me to be sure that she is doing the right thing, especially when approaching a new person. I have trained her to the command “go visit” so I can direct her to approach someone in a space where there is only room for her.
Baxter has only gone a few times but has taken to these visits quite well. He is naturally obedient and wants to please. Some of the men like to see the bigger, less fluffy dogs sometimes so he has been a hit.
Lest you be misled, I need to make the point that these visits could not be pulled off with just any dogs. I only take my obedient and trustworthy dogs. Dogs that I have confidence in. The other dogs stay home. And even so, you must continually read and watch your dog. There may come a visit when one isn’t feeling well or is not up to it for some reason. It is best if you figure this out before the visit. This is not always possible. If a dog acts up, you must be ready to end the visit. Sometimes a break is enough. Other times you may have to give it up and go home. This hasn’t happened to me often but I can recall at least one visit where we went home after 20 minutes.
The lesson is Know Your Dog! After all, you are a team.