Just another Therapy Visit day

Thursday, February 15, 2018, turned out to be an ordinary day.

It’s not like that every day, thank Goodness! I’m easily bored, so when I can’t find something special to perk up my day… I get a bit antsy.

Bernie and Chris used to be my daily excitement. Oh, they continue to be my daily excitement… just not to the level of yesteryear.

Then… I was actively engaged training them… and learning a lot about myself.

It didn’t take too long before I realized the dogs knew more about how to behave themselves and anticipate situations.

It’s taken me a lot longer to know myself.

Of course, it always works that way. Animals are survival experts. They don’t worry about human ethics. They do whatever it takes to survive.

Bernie and Chris have each other for play. Their routine is very structured, and I am part of that structure. They depend on me for their food and their meal times. One or the other will come and remind me it’s time to out for their exercise. Chris is the leader on that. He’s always ready for play.

Bernie has his woeful sorrowful expression… he lays his massive head on my knee… and gives a head twitch toward his food bowl. He is more regular than the clock when it comes to his meal time.

Properly at nine in the evening Chris will disappear and leap up on my bed. He’s gone for the night.

Bernie, by then he’s curled somewhere near me, and that is where he will stay until I leave and go to bed.

If it’s been a good day, I’ve found something to write about; then I can find some peace. If the day passed and I haven’t done something worthwhile (whatever that means) … I feel I’ve cheated myself.

Having a routine can be wonderful. However, for me, it is becoming boring. I need the routine, but I also need excitement.

Sitting in a chair during Thursday’s therapy dog visit, I record how Bernie and Chris responded to the folks who came to the community room.


Chris is paying attention to the woman in the wheelchair. She is telling him what a pretty boy he is. Bernie quietly lays next to the man in the wheelchair. The man constantly strokes Bernie for at least five minutes. As far as Bernie is concerned, the man can continue doing that for another hour.

At some point, Chris will walk away from the woman. That’s just Chris. His attention span isn’t as tolerant as Bernie.

At this facility, I have the dogs unleashed. They are free to wander around, being petted or just exploring. One of the reasons for allowing them unleashed is so they can enjoy themselves. Here’s their enjoyment…


Everyone enjoys when Bernie and Chris mix-it-up in the middle of the room. Forty-six-pound Chris is much more agile than Bernie. There is never a sound as they wrestle. Bernie weighs eighty-five pounds and somehow always seems to end up on the floor.

The play activity only lasts for a few minutes. If someone new comes through the door, both dogs immediately break off their play and rush over to greet the new arrival.

When the hour ends, I will pick up the double leash and attach leads to their collars, and we will peacefully say goodbye until next week.

4 thoughts on “Just another Therapy Visit day

  1. Julia Haggerty

    Dear Joe, You have done so well in organizing and preparing your life with the dogs and you need to continue as you have, taking care of your health as well as theirs.

    I love my new little Irish terrier, his name is McGee and he is a tiny prince! Ryan watches over him as he flies past us. Typical terrier and just what we needed after 6 months of mourning the death of Clifford.

    Best wishes,



  2. josephlacey12

    Thanks, I appreciate your support.

    On McGee… I hope you are taking both him and Ryan on daily walks around the neighborhood. It’s more than the exercise… I think you’re getting out is good for you. McGee will… hopefully quickly become leashed trained.

    Despite years of being on a leash, Bernie has ingrained sled-dog impulses.



  3. Lovely story. Reads with great honesty and freedom. I don’t think would trust my dog in this kind of situation though. At least not without your training. Keep up the sterling work. And many many thanks for sharing my blog. Very kind of you.


  4. josephlacey12

    I echo the thoughts of my dog trainer. “A trained dog is a happy dog.”

    My only response… A trained dog makes for a happy dog owner.


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