Monday, October 31, 2016

College Days

The beginning of our college visits has started. We had a successful visit this past week at Bryn Mawr College. Despite the cold wet weather (we moved our visit into the gym) we had a good turnout from the students. A lot of them recognized Maggie from last year. Our visits usually go on for an hour but for the college visits we have two shifts (2 hours) to enable the students to work around their classes. In the hour that Maggie and I were there we must have spoken with at least 100 students and I’m sure the 2nd hour was just as busy (as when we were leaving the gym there were groups of students still coming in). After introducing Maggie and telling everyone about her age, breed, likes and dislikes I always engage the students to see if they have any pets at home. I find that the majority do and like to talk about them. Most like to take pictures of Maggie and in turn I ask to see pictures of their dogs. After a bit I give the students the space they need to just be with Maggie, petting her and admiring her. I do love listening to the conversations between the students. I can tell you I did not hear anything about any classes, obviously this was their time to decompress. (This is a stressful time of the year for them-mid terms!) Some of the interesting comments I heard were: -best day of my life -worth getting out of bed this morning -I feel so fulfilled -my batteries are recharged -I want to come back as a dog and spend my days being petted -so glad my professor let us out early for pet therapy I had a nice conversation with one student whose family has a Goldendoodle. She started be asking me questions about Maggie’s health. At first I was a little confused and turned the tables by asking her why all the questions? She told me their Doodle was just two years old (Maggie is seven) and she is just trying to figure out what the issues will be down the line. I explained to her that every dog is different (and I am not an expert). But she persisted. So I told her Maggie’s issues have been that she has a tendency to get ingrown hair which causes cysts. She also has had a bout of pancreatitis and when she was just a pup she contracted Lyme disease through a bite from a tick. As I’m talking with her I see her taking out her phone and start typing. When I stop talking she looks up at me and says “I’m going to send these notes to my parents so they will know what to look out for. Clearly a diligent person! Needless to say Maggie received a lot of attention at this visit which she enjoyed and when we got home she slept the afternoon away!

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