One tiny dog, one big moment

When we walked into the senior unit today I was surprised and delighted to see several people waiting for us. Sometimes we only visit with one person, but today we had six who wanted to meet Petey. This is a mental health environment so we never know what we will encounter or what the tiny dog will do. One person was reaching out her hands to grab the dog as she wanted to hold him. I assessed right away that this would not be safe for Petey so I explained that I had to hold him but she could pet him. She was not terribly on board for this assisted hold stuff so I sat down next to her with Petey on my lap so she could see him. As we spoke with other people, she was watching him closely and I could see she had relaxed and calmed down quite a bit. Others started petting him and she said she missed her small dogs. As I could see she was steadier now, I asked if she would like to see something really cool Petey learned … his touch commands. She listened to me carefully as I instructed her to put her hands on the sides of her so I could put Petey on his blanket on her lap. I told her he would turn around to face out and if she touched his tail gently, he would sit! Well she did … and he did! Now we had her full attention so I had her touch his shoulder and he laid down! Petey was safe on her lap with me very close by, she was happy to have the little dog on her lap and she was no longer agitated and flailing her arms. Our staff liaison said this was the best day ever!