A couple weeks ago, Wilson interviewed at our local Barnes & Noble bookstore to work in the children’s book area as a “Tail Waggin’ Tutor.” His job was to snooze on the floor while children crawled over him and poked at his nose. Actually, the children were supposed to read to Wilson. The theory is that kids are less self-conscious reading to a dog than they are sounding out words in front of their giggling peers. It makes wonderful sense for children to practice reading to a non-judgmental dog. It’s proven to be a highly productive and effective way to relax the kids and give them a sense of success.
The kids were great.
Wilson loved them like he would love cavorting with little bunnies. Snoozing was far from his mind and, for me, sitting on the floor with a young, happy-go-lucky dog for two hours rendered me incapable of walking for hours afterward. After our stint, I was the one who was exhausted. Wilson had a blast! I left a dishrag. Wilson thought the experience was a lovely two-hour frolic. Clearly, I was the flunky.
So yesterday, I spoke with a lovely woman from Phoenix’s Hospice of the Valley to offer Wilson’s services as a hospice therapy dog. Friday, we have an interview. Perhaps I’ll have a chair on which to sit, rather than the floor. Wilson loves adults — especially the ladies. He LOVES the ladies. He also likes to comfort people. One day I had a friend over who was having a hard time. As she sat on my couch, crying great heaving tears, Wilson put his head on her lap like he had a solution for her problems. Just pet my head and you’ll be all better, he seemed to say. Go ahead. Give it a try. Pet me, pet me.
Now, instead of darling bunnies reading to him while my body goes numb for two hours, we’ll see if being a member of the Hospice pet therapy team is perhaps well-suited to Wilson’s young personality and my old aching bones. We’ll see. Besides, my poor balding head — you all remember my little balding head that I whine about on a regular basis — well, I’d be afraid it might scare the little ones if my hat were to accidentally come detached from my head. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to justify the comfort of a chair for me and a nice lap for Wilson to beg for some nice pets and maybe — oh, maybe — a cookie or two at the end.
Wish us luck!