Animals o' the week

Being at college, there's a couple things I don't run into very often: Little kids and pets. Dorms don't like it if you try to keep either, and my apartment complex currently doesn't have any kids around and doesn't allow pets bigger than the turtles Melissa has. I miss my Millie.

This week, I had interesting run-ins with pets:
  • Dogs - Once upon a time, I was obessed with dogs. I can still name just about any breed I see. I even attended dog shows to spectate. I learned all about the AKC and the different certifications. Because I'm somewhat service-minded, and I'm not sure I want to own a purebred dog, the Canine Good Citizen certification interested me. This is a basic obedience test, more like a "good manners" test for the dog, and is a precursor to becoming a therapy dog- a dog that can visit health facilities like hospitals and nursing homes. Reading a list of requirements for both certifications makes me realize that I want my dog to be able to do this, regardless of whether they visit anywhere at all.
    All that to say, my coworker Amber has two of her dogs, Taylor and Mischa, certified as therapy dogs. I went with her Wednesday to the Upland nursing home to visit residents, and enjoyed it very much. The people there as well as the workers were very excited to see the dogs. One man went back to his room and brought out pictures of his dog, a Bichon Frise. Another, when we went to her room and Mischa stuck her head on her bed, said "Oh, hello there". The nurse escorting us, when we left, said she hardly ever talks. Another lady who didn't speak followed us around and laughed often watching the dogs. It was amazing to see the joy that the animals bring. Having been involved with therapy with horses, I am convinced that animals can be therapeutic.
    A funny note: Mischa (a whippet) kept getting called a greyhound, and Taylor (a great dane) was called a horse!

  • Turtles - As I mentioned before, my other roommates besides Melissa are two turtles. Well, this morning, I had gotten ready for the day and Melissa was finishing up, and I'm putting clothes away that had been on the floor for a while and pick up the last pair of pants and let out an "Aah!". One of Melissa's turtles had somehow escaped their home and ended up under all my clothes. She was all curled up in her shell and probably cold. Poor thing. I went and got Melissa and she put her back in the turtles' container. We don't know how she got out. Melissa said she's going to look into building them a new home.

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