Today, Seamus passed the Therapy Dog Evaluation!!! I have been working with Seamus for the last two months preparing him for the test. Seamus is under two years old and I was concerned if he was ready for this but then this past week, I took him to my Nana's nursing home.
Usually the nursing home is depressing. There is a lot of dementia on her ward (she has it too) and mild alzheimers. Because we were allowed to take our pets there, I thought it would be a good litmus test for Shayme (Seamus' nickname).
I have heard so many times the effect that dogs have in nursing homes but it wasn't until this past week that I actually experienced it. There was an immediate awakening among the residents as they petted and cooed at him. The interest they had in him hits one like a wave, it was a very touching experience to see them awaken like that.
Seamus was a champ, went right up to everyone in their wheelchairs and politely waited to be petted. He was unafraid of the walkers and canes and was just happy to be getting so much attention. I also took Paddie this week and had scheduled her for a test too, but after seeing her at the nursing home, I know she is past her prime to do this, especially with her cataracts. It was a hard decision to make but the right decision for her.
I wasn't sure Seamus would pass what is called, the "TDI Temperament Evaluation" because he is so young. To make it more challenging this was a park with a dog festival going on which excited Seamus to no end (he loves other dogs).
The evaluators are tough. This is a lot of work for a dog as young as Shayme and a lot of work for me too......but it is worth it. My boy is looking forward to bringing happiness to the world via one pet at a time...but for now, he has worked hard, had his treat and is ready to relax....