Otis got lots of attention and affection tonight, the first night of his three-session training on how to become a therapy dog. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for a long time, but never got around to. But I’ve been feeling awfully sentimental about Otis recently, and started thinking about the joy and companionship he could bring to other people who could use a smile. So we signed up with “Dog B.O.N.E.S.” (Dogs Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support), a nonprofit, volunteer organization based here in Massachusetts.
After we complete our three training sessions, we’ll be able to visit hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospices and other facilities that provide care to the elderly, the disabled, or to young folks. They even have a new program where your dog becomes a “reading dog” and visits children who have trouble reading, and sits quietly as a supportive, non-judgmental listener.