The Third Age of Babas: Therapy Dog

Update posted by Ryan Stimmel On Sep 25, 2015

Ok, after seeing the vet yesterday we decided to go ahead and put her under anesthesia to remove the cyst so that it won't be coming back. I have to admit I'm a little glad because the thing has been bothering me for years and lately especially. Everyone that meets her for the first time finds the soft boiled egg on her flank and I have to explain it so, no more of that at least.

Unfortunately the timing is terrible as now she'll be recovering from the procedure the day her therapy eval was to take place. I'd postpone but the organization doing the eval can't refund the fees I've already paid and the whole reason I'm on here in the first place is that money is tight. I'm torn. On the one hand I want to just cancel and wait for the next available appointment for therapy eval and save us all the stress and on the other I wan to save money and see if we can get in all groggy as we'll likely be.

Either way, not focused on that right now. Just waiting by the phone for the all-clear call to go get Bobs from the vet.

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Update posted by Ryan Stimmel On Sep 24, 2015

This isn't the next update I expected to write: there is a sebaceous cyst that Babas has had for years that decided to rupture tonight, just three days before her therapy dog evaluation. I'll have to take her in for a minor procedure but it means shaving a bald spot into her side, a couple of stitches and maybe a cone. I just wrote to Austin Dog Alliance for information but I suspect we will have to postpone the big day. I'll keep you posted...

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Update posted by Ryan Stimmel On Sep 15, 2015

I just got an email confirming our appointment with Austin Dog Alliance for our therapy dog eval on the 26th. Bobs will have to be well groomed and well exercised so she can pass all her tests.

The test includes...

  • walking past toys and food on the ground
  • taking a treat from a stranger
  • ignoring another dog while the humans greet each other (that one's gonna be tough)
  • hard petting/brushing
  • remaining calm around shouting, loud hand clapping and someone dropping dishes
  • watching a stranger in a sombrero stumble around the room then allowing herself to be petted by them (not sure what this one is testing for)

There's more, those are just the ones we've been training.

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Update posted by Ryan Stimmel On Aug 24, 2015

It occurs to me that some might be skeptical that a German Shepherd - what many consider to be an aggressive breed dog - could be trusted around kids. You might wonder how this likely skepticism escaped my attention and I haven't felt the need to talk about it until now but the reason is because Bobs is so sweet and gentle with kids that it never crossed my mind that she could be anything but.

Ex: a couple years back I was at an outdoor concert at Zilker Park in Austin and I dropped her leash for a bit to check out the acro yoga scene going on there. After a few minutes I turn to find her lying down much like in the above picture with 5 kids literally lying on top of her. One was an infant and for a moment I was alarmed that the parent would see the scene and panic until I saw her standing by, watching and laughing.

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Update posted by Ryan Stimmel On Aug 19, 2015

A little about our plans - Once we go through the certification processes with Austin Dog Alliance and Pet Partners (to the tune of over $400) and get Bobs some swanky gear (like a name-engraved Martingale collar for $35ish) we'll start visiting elementary schools and old folks homes.

We'll hit the schools first because I'm full of angst at not gearing up to start another school year and have all kinds of great ideas for reading lessons from my past as a primary literacy teacher. Then, I'll research which is the politically acceptable term - old folks home, nursing home or something else - and get on the phone with some of them ;)

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Thanks Amanda!

Ryan Stimmel

Posted On Sep 26, 2015

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Amanda Steinwedel

Backed with $50.00 On Sep 25, 2015

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Thanks for your support Jessica!

Ryan Stimmel

Posted On Sep 16, 2015

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Best of luck! Great idea!!!

Jessica

Backed with $5.00 On Sep 16, 2015

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Thanks Grandmother! You put us over the half way mark!

Ryan Stimmel

Posted On Sep 06, 2015

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The two of you are giving and loving, good combination to give back to the community.

Eva Durham

Backed with $50.00 On Sep 05, 2015

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Thanks Nina!

Ryan Stimmel

Posted On Aug 26, 2015

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NIna

Backed with $10.00 On Aug 26, 2015

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Thanks Amy! Nursing homes and elementary schools are in our future!

Ryan Stimmel

Posted On Aug 19, 2015

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After my wreck, the nursing home I was in had pet therapy once a week. It was the highlight of everyones week, did wonders! I look forward to hearing about Babas success!

Amy Dye

Backed with $20.00 On Aug 17, 2015

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