A couple of months back, Romeo passed his St. John Ambulance therapy dog test. I have spoken with the recreational coordinators of the facilites that Gio visits and they are happy to allow Romeo to visit as well. Of course, we still need to go through the formalities and Romeo has to pass his orientation visit where our regional direction accompanies us on our first visit as an SJA therapy dog team. Romeo has not yet had his orientation because of busy schedules the past couple of months. A few days ago, I wrote the recreational coordinator at the facility Gio was supposed to visit today and told her the story. I offered to either come without a dog and keep the other therapy dog team company as they visit, or I could bring Romeo and visit outside of the umbrella of St. John Ambulance. They gave the thumbs up for me to bring Romeo out of uniform, so that their residents could have some furry visitors during the holiday season.
So today was Romeo's first therapy dog visit, not officially with St. John Ambulance, but as an independent therapy dog team.
promise to be good to them."
I took him to the facility a couple of minutes early to get him used to the place. It is pretty echo-y in there and lots of new smells, so we spent some time heeling up and down the hallways, lots of treats, and practicing his tricks and focus. He did great! Even got a little warm-up in the foyer where he was assaulted by two residents that insisted on coo-ing over his pretty markings and commenting on how smart he is.
I was glad that he had Lily the Cairn Terrier to show him the ropes. Lily is Gio's usual visiting buddy and she really took control showing Romeo what to do. They were so cute prancing down the hallway together. There was always that little urge for Romeo to break out a play-bow, but Lily is a pro and knew better. She was working and provided a great example for Romeo to follow.