The importance of relationships

We so often talk about the relationship between both ends of the leash … but this afternoon I learned again how important the relationship between therapy team and facility is. Where I bring Benny on Thursday afternoons is one of our favorite hours. He spends time with very special teens and we see breakthrough after breakthrough each week. Sometimes it is something very subtle such as a person looking at Benny or someone expressing their thoughts. He always knows who needs him the most and today he totally honed in on one person. I didn’t ask him to go to that person or lead him there – he just knows. I never know why the clients are there or what their issues are so I just harness the power of Benny and watch what happens. I knew something special was occurring when he went over to this client and did something he never does when working – he rose up his front paws and hugged her on his own. He just did not want to let go until she was brave enough to circle her arms around him and hug back. My contact there is an amazing young woman and she and I spent half an hour debriefing after the session and I told her I always learn something from HER and that is what makes our relationship between therapy dog, handler, client, facility and liaison so powerful.