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Training Toby is moving!

Training Toby is moving to Terra Toby. Come and visit!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Therapy Dog Audition

Yesterday Toby and I went to the hospital to interview for volunteering. I thought they would just want to meet Toby while they talked to me. Wrong! Mostly we were auditioning for the therapy dog job. The Volunteer Director, Nancy, was very friendly. We chatted briefly while she looked over the application that I had filled out previously. "Tell me about Toby", she asked, so I did. Staff were popping in and out of the office and to each one Nancy called out, "Would you like to come here and meet Toby?" I had no idea that the folks working at the local hospital were such enthusiastic dog lovers! Toby was a little surprised to be meeting so many strangers. I think he was already a little stressed by all the weird smells and noises, particularly since the hospital entrance was being vigorously powerwashed when we arrived.

 Then Nancy said, "Let's take a walk." So we did - all over the hospital (well not ALL over, it just seemed that way). Did I mention that Nancy's office is next to the cafeteria? Luckily we didn't go there, but Toby's nose was twitching like crazy.
Here's Toby in his TDI bandana with his volunteer badge attached.

 The first stop was the Security Office where even more dog lovers were waiting. Toby jumped up on the chair opposite the camera for a nice Volunteer badge photo. I couldn't help noticing the toy dog attached to the top of the camera.

 Next Nancy asked if Toby had ever been on an elevator. No. "Well let's see what he does then!" Now I was a little stressed. But Toby acted like he'd been on floors that moved unexpectedly his whole life.

Everywhere we went people stopped to pet Toby. Most of the time he seemed focused on sniffing every surface and just the air generally. His olfactory cells must have been exhausted. He seemed less wary of all these friendly strangers as time went on. He seemed especially at home in the Physical Therapy wing. The staff there were excited to meet him and very welcoming.

I was surprised and kind of moved by the nurse who stopped to thank me, saying "You have no idea how important this {therapy dog work} is!"

Well Toby passed his audition because I'm going to orientation on Wednesday. We'll be teamed with another experienced pet therapy handler and begin visiting when we return from Hawaii. Very exciting!
"That was one tiring interview- I had to work hard to be good for that long!"

"But don't worry about me- I got some mischief done the next morning!"


Lauren said...

way to go Toby!! He looks so cute with his official bandanna and badge! He's better than Mareto with elevators then... Mareto hates them! haha said...

ROFL! You go Toby! And congrats on your therapy dog gig... what you do IS important!

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