Monday, February 15, 2016

Ike's First Job

Our first assignment.
We were both so excited, Ike and I!

Our first event was a Valentine's Day event at a local college.

We had no idea what to expect. I know Ike is a laidback dog and I hoped he'd enjoy the experience.
We braved the 16 degrees below zero temperatures and walked the scenic pathways along the quad to the student union building. There we encountered a long line of students--this was going to be a well-attended event.
Coordinators led us into the room where crafts and refreshments were set up for the students. One other dog, a yellow lab, was there. Later, another dog joined. There were supposed to be 9 dogs at the event, but the rest didn't show up due to the cold. These three would have their paws full!
As soon as the doors opened, college students with broad smiles rushed over to greet Ike. They sat cross-legged on the cold floor and reached out to touch him.

Ike's tail wagged and before long, he flopped over for belly rubs.

I think he was emailed to many moms at home and posted on many Facebook pages! (#ilikeike)

I asked the students if they had pets at home. They all chorused "yes" and then the stories began. I heard about the dogs, cats, and rabbits they'd left behind and missed. They showed me a pictures of their pets. One boy said that his dog would be ten years old in two days. It was sweet how, despite his busy schedule and studies and college stresses, he remembered his dog's birthday. Another boy told me that he loved dogs but his mother wouldn't let him have one, and so he kept rabbits. He also asked a lot of questions about therapy dog work and said he'd like to do it one day. I told him that rabbits could also be therapy pets.
The questions the students wanted to know most was how to train therapy dogs and if it was hard.
I told them about the classes and test we took, and told them no, it wasn't difficult, it was mostly about the dog's temperament and how well the dog and handler work together.
I was impressed with the students. They were calm, friendly, respectful and intelligent.

By the time the evening ended, Ike and I were tired. We were given a lovely arrangement of roses and thanked for our visit.
I was left feeling very grateful that we'd become a therapy dog team.


  1. What a great experience for Ike and the college students! I know that my friends and I turned into little kids any time we saw a dog walking through campus or sitting on the patio at Starbucks when we were in college, so I know that these students loved having scheduled dog-loving time!

  2. Oh, you must be so proud of your first official therapy visit. It sounds like you did a LOT of great work that evening. Well done, team!

  3. I'm so happy for you and Ike Peggy. Reading this made my day. I love my dogs and I know It made the college students happy too. What a great way to spend Valentine's Day sharing love.

  4. What a great way to share the love on Valentine's Day! I'm sure the students really appreciated the time you spent with them - especially since it was so cold out. Congrats on your first visit!

  5. I love your heart, Peggy, and Ike's too. How neat to go to college and minister to homesick students and what a fun idea. And you're pretty brave to venture out in such cold weather. I'm so proud of Ike! He looked like he was totally enjoying the experience and the photos of the kids reaching out to him are so touching. Thank you for sharing your Valentine's Day with the kids and with us, too. <3

  6. @Beth Thank you for the encouragement. The students all agreed it would be great to have a dorm dog in residence!

  7. What a fun day! It was a nutty 89F degrees here
    Lily & Edward

  8. These pictures are adorable! Looks like Ike did really well!

  9. @Oz the terrier We are blessed and happy to get into this work, and we get as much out of it as the students!

  10. @roxieknapp Thank you! I was pleased at how well turned-out this event was. The organizers said that as soon as the Therapy Dogs signs go up, the students come rushing in!

  11. @Vicky Cook Thanks for the support. It was an especially sweet Valentine's Day!

  12. @Earl Lover We think so too. By the way, with a name like yours, Valentine's Day must be your favorite holiday!

  13. @Monica Morris Ike seemed a bit overwhelmed by ALL the love at first! But soon he felt better. For his first time, he did great. We have lots more upcoming!

  14. @Two French Bulldogs Please send some of your sunny warmth this way!

  15. @The Daily Pip Ike says thank you for your comment! He is pretty tired after all his fun.


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!