Benny is a wonderful therapy dog.
He loves going to work and never disappoints me with his behaviors.
But he does have specialties and he does have places he just isn’t as good as other dogs.
This is difficult for us to admit sometimes. Our dogs just can’t do everything.
Since we lost Kirby, I have taken Benny to places and asked things of him he usually did not do.
While he is certainly a good therapy dog in these environments, he is not a great therapy dog.
Understanding your dog and where they excel are key to being a Love Dog. Benny shines when working AAT one-on-one or very long assignments where he has to truly be spontaneous but steady and flexible in what we ask of him.
He bonds with certain children, especially those on the autism spectrum. Perhaps he feels a kinship with them.
He loves working with children where there is interaction, even if it is just eye contact.
He loves being able to either move around and walk with someone or stay still for very long periods of time on his blanket. He just settles in and when picked up, molds his body around you. He melts into your arms. Anyone’s arms.
He loves the two-way interaction of these assignments.
So when I brought him to spend time with the group home Kirby used to visit, he was good but not great. He needed more assistance getting into position.
He kept turning to look at me for guidance and confirmation.
He kept looking at the kids for feedback.
He so wanted to please me. But the light was not in his eyes, as we see with Julian or Kaiden or children at Rise or school.
So I will listen to my dog and let our other remarkable Love Dog team members carry the load at this facility.
Benny does not have to be great at everything … he is perfect just the way he is.