Visits with Daisy

This story is a story I recently wrote for the Kearney Area Animal Assisted Programs. Daisy has (or rather Dad has…) taken this year off from volunteering but hopes to be back doing pet therapy work after other obligations are finished. I wanted to share it with you…

Daisy VisitIt starts with the morning bath. “Daisy, time for a bath!” She jumps in the tub full of water and lays down for a good scrubbing. When done, she jumps out and shakes her tall, black, sleek labradoodle frame and sprays water in every direction. She is so excited because she knows she is going on a visit! She runs through the house rubbing on everything she can. She runs to the back door wanting to get in the car but she’ll have to wait until she is fully dry!

Dad packs her purse full of goodies for the visit and she dons her red Therapy Dogs, Inc collar, her red bandanna, and her red pet therapy leash. Striking against her black fur. Into the car we go and she sits in the passenger seat  looking so proud and majestic. Her tail giving the occasional thump, thump as we ramble into town for a visit.
Dad has a huge smile on his face knowing there will be many kids at the library that just love to read to Daisy and the other dogs in the reading program. The visits to the library always start in the parking lot as there is usually someone coming up to ask to pet Daisy. She obliges with a nudge on their leg or by laying down for the little folks to give her a scratch on the head. Into the library we go…
It usually takes about five or ten minutes to get to the reading area of the library. Daisy seems to know everyone there and likes to socialize before snuggling up to someone wanting to read her their favorite book. She sniffs here and there to find the best spot and invites children over to read to her. The children are will usually sit down next to her with their legs crossed and introduce themselves by petting Daisy and Daisy returns the favor with a nudge and a sniff. She then settles in by laying her head in the child’s lap as they read to her and simultaneously stroke her fur.
I am amazed each and every time Daisy lays there and enjoys her new friends reading their books. Children of all walks of life and energy levels are literally transformed when they sit down to read to Daisy. They read and pet, read and pet — until the book is finished. And they may sit for  a while with Daisy or get up and read to another pet therapy dog. It is truly a moving experience.