Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions in 2013, we’ve decided to focus on The Four Agreements from the book by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first one is:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Which, if you’re going to “speak with integrity” then you’d better do what you say and we’ve been saying for years that we were going to start volunteering with a pet therapy program. Tucker has always seemed to have the right personality – interested in people, kind, gentle, happy, go lucky, patient. We thought he’d be awesome at it. He’d passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test in 2010, but it never seemed to work out (read: Dad never picked up the phone and made it happen).
Look at this face. See? You feel better and happier already, right?
We’d heard about this program and finally made the leap to reach out and start the conversation with Pet Partners (formerly known as Delta Pet Partners). And through a variety of circumstances and a lot of emails, we started training this weekend with them in Las Vegas through Love Dog Adventures.
Yesterday (Saturday) was eight hours of classroom training without animals; today was two hours of training with Tucker, getting ready for our evaluation test coming up in February. This is rigorous and intense training and nothing is left to chance. A lot of therapy programs will just do three supervised visits after CGC and you’re off to the races. We chose this program because it seemed more intense, safer and you have to register as a team every two years. And we do love a good challenge.
We’re exhausted, excited, nervous and thrilled. In just two days we’ve met incredibly passionate people and their wonderful animals, we’ve learned more about ourselves than we knew before and we cannot wait to really get into the volunteering part of it.
As part of our classroom training yesterday, we got to “shadow” a couple of the human-animal teams as they visited in a managed care facility. We met one woman who “doesn’t like people” but she lit up when the dogs came in. She asked me what kind of dogs we had and I showed her a picture of The Boys:
Pointing at Barclay, she said, “Why isn’t he in the middle? You could see him better.’
I responded, “Well, he’s kind of naughty and doesn’t always do what you want him to do.”
She replied, in a whisper, “Good for him. He’s just like me. You tell him to keep being himself.”
See why we can’t wait to get out there? How many more wonderful people will Tucker get to meet and how much joy can he bring to people that might not otherwise have something to smile about.
We’ll be blogging as we go about what we learn. You can also follow along with our wonderful leader at the Love Dog Adventures blog.
Keep being amazing and Be Impeccable with Your Word.