Our biggest Pet Partner class to date. It shows that Delta's Pet Partner program is catching on and people are showing interest in the common goal of making people's lives better whether it be just a smile or giving them the motive to take that first step in recovery and applying guidelines of common practice in the process. The group had plenty of experience with AAA and AAT at St. Lukes hospital. Some have been visiting for several years to those who are just getting into it. This helped us keep the two day training course rich with personal and practical experiences. This class of St. Lukes volunteers was paid for through an endowment at the hospital. We all thank them for providing us the facility, breakfast, lunches and the opportunity to get to know one another. Helk, I even met a former Rocket, a clown and so many others that all bring interesting backgrounds and reason for wanting to provide therapeutic animal sessions. Not often do you see so many people want, and I mean really want, to share themselves and their dogs to brighten the day for others.
Let it be clear that some went into the weekend with reservations about the Pet Partner Program and clearly we all hit it out of the ball park. Great networking and resources were tapped and smiles of the non-dog related therapeutic sort were provided by many. Animal training tips and handling skills were reviewed which will all make us better at what we share in common.
Chris Montross kicked off the house keeping on Saturday morning that set the stage for the next fourteen and a half hours of learning. As with many seminars you tend to get started a few minutes late as people trickle in for whatever reason. Let it be known that all the attendees were on time if not 30 minutes early. This speaks tons for the eagerness of the group to get to know more about the human-animal bond. If there is any question out there as to filling a two day training course, this group showed us that not only will they participate but they would recommend that others do as well. We wrapped up the weekends events with some clicker training and service dog techniques show and tell by none other then our Catahula Leapord, Cadence. In the process of getting her to do one thing she nailed a skill that we most likely couldn't have captured without her offering it up to us. It was rewarded and has now become part of her skills repertoire. This skill was accomplished in less then 10 mintues!
As everyone learned, you can teach any dog new tricks!
Thanks for the great weekend and positive feedback. Looking forward to a long and successful future with this group.
A painting on "American Gothic" on the side of the barn just outside of Cedar Rapids.