Last Friday, Jasmine and I volunteered at the children's hopsital like usual. Every week is a new experience, but there are a lot of similarities. This visit was fun. One room we went into had 4 little boys. (only 1 was the patient.) Three were on the bed, one was in a chair beside the bed. They were SO EXCITED about our visit.. It was seriously like a party in there! And Jaz gets energized when the kids are enthusiastic. She was showing off all her tricks! (even when I wasn't asking!) :D We did our little routine, then they wanted to see some of the tricks again. (Requests) Then they wanted to "train Jasmine". So I had them do the hand signal for High 5, and they were crowded around Jaz all asking at the same time. Jaz was a little confused who she was supposed to be giving a High 5 to, but it all worked out. And the adults were cracking up. Another episode that made us laugh was when I asked Jasmine to "ring the bell". I know in advance this trick will elicit laughs- because Jasmine tends to keep ringing the bell, even though I don't ask her. But this time was especially hilarious. Jasmine rang the bell, and got her treat. The little 4 year old said "I can ring the bell!" And he jumped down and rang it. Apparently it wasn't that impressive that a dog could ring a bell if he could to it too!! ;) We were laughing.
The other thing about Jaz that I love- is that she almost has a magical power to make kids stop crying. Later that night, I heard a little girl crying down a hall, so I followed the noise. The little girl definitely wasn't happy, but immediately when she saw Jaz, she stopped. She just kind of stared. As I talked to her and started showing her some of Jasmine's tricks, a shy smile spread across her face. Her parents said that was the first time they had seen her smile in a while. It makes me feel good to be a part of that. I couldn't do it without Jaz! She makes all the difference.
Although Jasmine is pretty special... she's not the only one. There's a ton of good dogs out there that could do the exact same thing. And there are plenty of opportunites to volunteer and make a difference in someone's life. Think about it. Could your dog be a therapy dog?