Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Sunday, October 7, 2012

in which my dog PASSES the evaluation ...much to my surprise...

As many of you know, Penny is a therapy dog at a senior living center.  Its a piece of cake for a friendly little dog:  wander around, jump into laps, cuddle, lick, be the center of attention!  BUT, as many of you also know, I wanted to take it further.
Our vet had suggested "Penny is so friendly, she should go to Longview and become a Cornell Companion". Right away we started at Longview, as you know, but Cornell Companions is a specific training program for dogs and people, and that training started this week.  IN ADDITION I wanted to add hospice training for myself and the dog.  YES, this is like getting into and going to college (literally, since Cornell Veterinary College runs this!).  Cornell Companions has very specific tests to pass to be accepted into the therapy dog program ...and hospice care has a LOT more.

WELL, Saturday Penny (and me!) went to the vet school at Cornell and... PASSED.  We were accepted!  There is a photo here of us coming in the door where Penny barked bloody murder at 2 other dogs (she hates other dogs) and I was able to explain "Well, let's get this part of the test out of the way: as you can see, she hates other dogs!"  After that it was smooth sailing...really smooth.  Because she is already an experienced therapy dog, right?  So, tests like walking in a crowd, loud noises, meeting new people:  she is a champ.  I was also worried about the whole obedience test...because Penny is not very smart or obedient...but she could have done worse :)  (I had a pocket full of treats...)
LASTLY a group of people come up pushing somebody in a wheelchair, and I was able to say
"She knows what to do when she sees a wheelchair" and she crawled right in and gave the person some lovin'.  The person running the eval told me when she saw this "I don't know why you worried she would not pass!!!".
So, we finish Cornell Companions training soon, then when it can be scheduled I start hospice training, which involves hours of classes, a background check and a bunch of other stuff......

Of course, prior to our appt for the eval we had to hike around Cornell's zillions of acres of beauty and woods....tiring out the pup a bit....


smartcat said...

Kuddos to Penny! I am sure her doing do well is in large part to her loving and caring home!

Janet said...

congrats to Penny! And you :-)

Lori Buff said...

Yay Penny!!!

Michèle Hastings said...

Congratulations to you both! A whole new chapter of your life begins.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

Congrats to both of you! You will have ZERO regrets.

I had written a long comment when you first posted about this, but the internet ate it.
I did some Hospice-related home care in MA. It was the most rewarding work I've ever done. The patients and their families were always so appreciative.

I was lucky that in every Hospice case I worked, the patient was surrounded by so much love.
You and Penny will be contributing one more level of that. When my time comes to die, I really want a warm kitty curled up under my hand.

Hilary said...

Good for you and Penny. That's such a wonderful thing you're doing. Dogs can bring so much joy and peace to folks in need.

Unknown said...

Congrats to Penny and you, it is such a wonderful thing you are both doing,

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I laughed out loud at Penny barking blood murder at the other dogs right before her important test. Good for you and Good for Penny! (PS...tell the Misses that I love her yellow rain slicker!)

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so proud of Penny...and proud to know you.
This is a wonderful gift you are giving to others; especially those needing hospice care.
Truly an unselfish giving of yourself!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

This is not only a great adventure for you both, it is also a huge Kudo to you and M and Penny, sharing the love P gets at home with people who really need it.

PS: M's yellow raincoat looks fabulous in those rainy fall photos. :)

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.