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My grandmother went into a nursing home yesterday.:( My mom has a search and rescue dog, and was talking to the manager about bringing our dogs in to see Nana. (Our entire family is big on dogs.) She mentioned to the manager about my poodles and the manager asked if I would be willing to bring them in to see everyone. I was planning on taking Reece with me some days simply because she is always with me, but only to see Nana. She is in a bag so she wouldn't have to be noticed by the other residents. None of my dogs are certified therapy dogs, but all have had obiedence and Allie would make a great therapy dog. She adores my Nana and she used to live with an elderly couple. She really connects with them.

I have heard the toys don't make good therapy dogs because of the squeezing and such that can go on with handicapped patients.

Sorry, I am running away with myself. My question is should I take Allie at the managers request?
 

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That's a tough one. The last thing you would need is for one of them to bite one of the patients because they were feeling uncomfortable or scared. I think that's why the therapy training and certification is so essential. It becomes a real liability issue. The patient themselves might dismiss it as just a scratch, but what about their kids and caregivers? Would they view it so nonchalantly? Little dogs' little teeth can damage old fragile skin.

Maybe you could try it once with a small group of patients in a closed off area, and ask the manager to tell the patients not to try and pick up the dogs. Use the No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact introduction method and see what happens.

Good luck! I hope to have Teddy doing this one day too.
 

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Just thought of something else that you might be able to do to introduce the dogs to the patients--have them perform some obedience commands for them. It will entertain the patients and the dogs will get positive feedback when they ooh and ahh over how well trained your dogs are.
 

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Why not just go get the dogs Therapy Certified? The test is not that hard and then you will be covered if something happens between the residents and the dogs.
 

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Why not just go get the dogs Therapy Certified? The test is not that hard and then you will be covered if something happens between the residents and the dogs.
Of course, that's the best suggestion! I have to wait a few more months until Teddy is old enough. I'm hoping he does well enough with the part where he has to not react to other dogs. He just wants to play with everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am going to see if I can get Allie certified. I took Reece in her bag today and she did fine. We stayed in Nan's room. Some of them saw her and she was fine. I just held her and offered for them to pet her if they wanted. The nursing home lets you bring in any dog you want as long as they have had their shots. And they didn't even look at hers they just glanced and said ok. I guess I thought they would be more strict than that.
 

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That sounds like a pretty awesome nursing home your grandmother is in! I'm a nurse and I wish our patients pets could visit them in the hospital. We have pet therapy on Tuesdays and it definitely brightens the day of our patients but it's not their dog from home. Of course bringing dogs into the hospital is different than a nursing home but I still think it's pretty awesome.

I agree with the others, maybe you could work on getting them certified. And certainly you know your dogs better than anyone else so if it's not something that they could handle don't do it. Otherwise, I think it could be a great experience for everyone!
 
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