Hershey Kisses and I were on or walk through the wetlands tonight when we came upon a group ahead of us. I am not sure how to politically correctly say this, so there is nothing derogatory intended in advance.
Two fully capable young adult with a half dozen late teen/young adult that are mentally and somewhat physically challenged. A couple seemed to be afflicted with Downs Syndrome to my eye, and the others I can't put names on their challenges.
Anyway, I hang back not wanting HK to decide it was time to jump and startle them. They start moving slower and slower, and a couple of the ones being cared for are starting to look back at the doggy. I decide that I might as well take the challenge and see if Hershey will heel and pass them. Lots of treats in my left hand.
As we are passing, one of the leaders ask me if the dog is friendly and if the other can pet him. I explain that she is friendly, bt may jump and lick. I would try to keep her under control. Well, Hershey Kisses did wonderful, for the next 45 minutes. She sat there letting 1 or 2 pet her at a time, and keep coming back to pet her again. Only one attempt at a jump the whole time.
One young man wanted to know why I called her Hershey Kisses. I told him that she was dark brown like a chocolate bar, so we decided on Hershey like the chocolate bar, and then because she was a girl, decided to change it to Hershey Kisses. His response was, "I like Hershey Kisses.' I truly do not know if he was talking about HK or the candy.
Anyway, our walk did nto cover the planned distance, but I think HK felt as good about the time we spent sharing with those kids as I did. Starting to think about looking in to what is involved in Therapy Dog Certification downstream.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Way to go HK. I think she picked up on the "kids". I have found there is something truly special about labs. Duke is our first lab, and he still amazes me. I bet HK will be a good candidate for a threrapy dog.
Penny from Sunny Southern California
Good girl HK!!!! That was a wonderful training experience and obviously enjoyed by everyone involved
I say Kudos to you and to HK. HK for being such a good girl and to you for taking the time to let them enjoy spending time with HK.
btw, I think your post was politically correct in how you described the group. I work with kids with mental and physical challenges from time to time ( I work for a recreation dept).
good girl HK! You must have felt very proud of her behaviour.
Good girl HK. I think these labs have a gift that makes them sense things about people & kids. Molly has her TDI & it just amazed me to see how she reacted to people in wheelchairs & ones that needed to use a walker. So gentle, staying on the side of the people.
We have worked with children with autism & these kids do seem to intereact, in their own way, with Molly. Molly seems to know she needs to just sit there & let them pet her.
It sounds like HK would do very well with therapy work.