You've been warned.
(It actually won't be that bad - promise! But while a friend of mine was over at my house this last weekend being sick, he was at his rock star therapy dog finest and hung out with her a few times after I left the room. And that dog follows me everywhere. So he knew what he was doing. He knew. And he's such a good dog. (: I've come to the conclusion that if there's someone who doesn't like this dog, there's something wrong with them. Because he's just great. Right Jen B.? :)
On to the big news!
A few years ago I read an article about a therapy dog working with veterans. I decided right then that that's what I wanted to do with a therapy dog. Come last November, I finally took the day-long course required for the human part of the team. In February I took him in for our evaluation and we couldn't do most of it because he had an ear infection (they start with a mini-physical and won't do the evaluation if there are any open wounds, infections, etc.). March was full, we went back in April and passed with really good scores. I may have written about that before. Anyway, that's a summary of it all.
Then, this past summer our first therapy dog outing was to the West Jordan library. While we were there I was talking to Deb (the director of Therapy Animals of Utah - TAU) about trying to get started with veterans. She said she's been talking to the VA for a while about getting a team in there, but nothing had happened yet. She told me to go ahead and start the volunteer process since it takes a while (background check, TB tests...) and hopefully then it'd be easier for her to get us in if we were already ready.
First week of August I got in there with all the completed paperwork that I had been emailed and got my fingerprints scanned. I was expecting to have to get inked up, but it's all digital now. Pretty cool. I went back four more times in the next couple of weeks to get a TB test started and then checked - twice. On August 27th I got an email saying that my background check cleared (shocker, really). I called in, scheduled my orientation, and that brings us to today! I'll be going in this afternoon to go through their confidentiality policies, learning what code blue, code red, etc. mean, their emergency protocols, and then I'll be setting up visits! I'm so excited. I'm nervous - we'll be working in the mental health hospital, which honestly, makes me a little more nervous - but I'm more excited than I am nervous, so I think it'll be good.
And I found out yesterday that Max will need to be in my volunteer badge picture too, so I won't be able to get the badge today but I'll have to bring him back sometime to get that done.
Anyway, maybe boring to the two (one?) people that read this blog, and for that I apologize. But I'm really excited. (: