I brought Kirby to this week’s session with Julian instead of Benny. I thought Benny needed to rest as he had been working a lot lately and Kirby really likes seeing Julian.
So off we went.
We got to the Center and Kirby was quietly waiting in the lobby.
Julian arrived and right away we knew – today was a bad day.
It started off on the wrong foot.
He was late and in a very negative mood.He did not want to look at us or focus on what we were saying.
He did not want Kirby anywhere close to him.
We went into a small room and turned the lights out. The lights were bothering Julian a lot today.
I put Kirby down on his blanket on the floor and Julian hopped away and actually made a face that reminded me of our first visit all those months ago.
Julian was wearing his “mad” face.
I didn’t know what was wrong or what to do, but Kirby figured it all out.
His friend was having a “bad day.”
Kirby is very familiar with bad days. Sometimes his hips or knees hurt him or his eyes squint in the sun and tear. Sometimes he just doesn’t want to be touched or held.
Julian and his therapist started their session without involving Kirby. But Kirby was just there – present should he be asked to do anything. Julian started calming down and they read a new book we brought with us, “I’m Not Afraid of Dogs.”
Kirby just lay down nearby but not too close. We brought his favorite toy with him, his Santa, so he was quite content to wait it out.
I attached his second leash just in case!
I asked Julian if he wanted to hold Kirby’s leash and he silently reached out his hand.
After about half an hour I asked Julian if he remembered how to do the massage Marilyn had taught him.
I asked if he could show me with Kirby.
Kirby inched closer and Julian reached out. He was shown again how to start at Kirby’s head and work his hand down his little body.
He was told he should do this three times.
Kirby settled in and was so happy. Finally, his boy was paying attention to him!
It was a tense session to begin with but by the end of the hour the beautiful Julian smile made an appearance!
He may have still been agitated or anxious or having a bad day but it somehow got better when he touched the little dog.
Julian helped me put Kirby in his car seat and we hugged goodbye.
Maybe because I had Kirby with me today it was comforting for Julian as it was just like our first meeting.
Maybe today’s session wasn’t the most fun or easiest but I do think it was the most rewarding…for boy and dog.