November 06, 2007

Olivia was in the hospital for several days after she was diagnosed in February, but once she was receiving insulin, she started to feel much better and was very active for the most part. Keeping a busy 21-month-old happy and distracted on a pediatric ward was challenging and involved a lot of promenading through the unit with her in a red wagon. On each of our rounds, we would pass the board that featured the pictures of the therapy dogs who visit the children each week. Several days into our stay, we met one of the dogs, an even-tempered golden retriever who tolerated O very well.

After Marc went to work at the rehab hospital, he learned that therapy animals are also used there and he got it into his head that this would be the perfect job for Moose. Moose is calm (sort of), not easily disturbed by sudden movement or young children (Olivia is trying to beat this out of him), and up for a head-scratching (or butt-rubbing) any old time. So Marc took him for his interview on Saturday, where they were unable to spook him with dropped pans or crutches moving past his face, mostly because he thought there were treats behind the counter and he can't hear a thing with his brain screaming, "COOKIE."

So, he's now a card-carrying therapy dog and this has afforded him a new gravitas, a quiet dignity that he didn't have before. His first session is Thursday and Olivia and I will accompany him. I feel sure that we are going to be bringing some serious therapy up in that place.

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Anonymous alli said...

Wow, that is so neat! Neither of our dogs would qualify, they are really skittish. But I'm glad Moose gets to do it.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous alice said...

Awesome! Dogs are some of the best therapists around! Ours got our daughter through some very tough times!

5:54 PM  
Blogger courtney said...

Damn. The sexiest dog in history is now performing community service? What am I supposed to do with that? Moose has been out-performing me for years. (What with the calendars and treeing of squirrels [you may recall that squirrels actually tree me.].) This may just be more than I can bear. Has Moose considered running for office? I'll be his campaign manager.

3:18 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

That's awesome! It seems O trained him well.

On a side note, Brendon was diagnosed at 2 1/2 yrs old and I vividly remember round after round after round after round of those wagon rides in the hospital.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Riley was diagnosed at 3 and we made a few rounds in the wagon as well.

That's so neat to have a dog like that. My dog would lick people to death so I don't think she'd qualify.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous katiek said...

That's so cool. Good Job Moose!!

3:07 PM  

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