I didn’t want to post this too quickly, as it’s not official yet. Consider it semi-official. Little miss Jasmine has completed the evaluation to become an honest to goodness therapy dog with the St. John Ambulance program. The testing isn’t easy, since both dog and handler are evaluated. I’m not embarrassed to say we almost failed.
We were very rusty. Our Therapy dog course with a local dog training school was over a year old, and I hadn’t really spent much time with Jasmine lately to try to make her more comfortable in what she considers stressful situations. The tests she reacted badly to were the “meet the person with the lab coat”, as well as “meet, and the guy with the hat”. However, the evaluator did say that small dogs often react this way. I made Jasmine greet a difference person wearing the same lab coat…. No problem. Then, the evaluator suggested that I take Jasmine in my arms while she would greet her. It worked. I must admit that having Jasmine be her usual gentle self for the “meet the person in the wheelchair” and then snuggling on her lap kinda helped too. ; )
Basically, the evaluator was looking for Jasmine’s reaction in a stressful situation, and how I dealt with it. It seems that we both did well. : ) Now, I only need the necessary papers from the vet, as well as the verification from the police to testify that I’m an honest citizen, to make Jasmine an official therapy dog.
If you’re interested in participating in the program in your community, here is the link.
On a side note, Jasmine and I had to leave the examination room for a little while so that a “scenario” could be prepared for us. As we were walking outside (the evaluation was being done in a school), Jasmine realised she was alone with me, and wanted to play. Honestly, I almost started to cry there and then. Fannie has been taking so much of my time lately, I’m sure that I’ve been neglecting my little WFD. It’s difficult to play with Jasmine, because Fannie is always in our faces going “ME! ME! ME!”. Fannie is so lovable, wants so much to play, and is goofy in only a way a little puppy can. I admit that I often forget Jasmine and she, in her very insecure submissive way, gets growly when Fannie interrupts us. Result? My attention tends to go back to the little BFD. Sigh…. Jasmine is starting her agility lessons next Friday. I’m hoping we’ll get a little more “together” time.