Written by: Jenny Willms
We all know the absolute bliss of being owned by a Labrador or two, but it has been my great joy to be able to share the Labrador love around with therapy dog visits. Our therapy dog journey began with visits to an aged care facility where my boy Harry won hearts doing goofy little tricks, accepting over-enthusiastic pats graciously and joyously accepting afternoon tea tidbits that had been lovingly saved for him. As a throw back to his previous life as a not-very-good Customs Dog, Harry has maintained a passion for sniffing anything and everything he possibly can. On one particular visit he strangely paid constant attention to the handbag of a resident’s visiting daughter and only after she left was I informed by the resident that she had a habit of keeping marijuana cigarettes in the bag.
For the last couple of years we have been visiting an adult with a dis-ability each week and we spend our visits teaching Harry new tricks and practising the ones he already knows such as jumping through hoops, playing the piano, riding a skateboard, rolling a barrel and even rolling up in a blanket to go to sleep. Our repertoire of tricks has increased dramatically over this time and although our tricks have become a little more sophisticated, more importantly we all have so much fun!!