We've all heard this phrase, "it's not how you start, it's how you finish that counts."
It was never truer than today when working with Julian. I had my dog Benny with me and invited a second dog to join us, Boise. It would be the first time we had two dogs working in the therapy room together. Julian as been with many dogs during our Story Time sessions but not really close to him in a small space.
And not with both dogs focused on only him.
It started off on a shaky foot. Julian was super unfocused and needed time in the ball pit. Then he just couldn't get into the session and didn't even want to hug Benny.
The first half of the session was riddled with frustration.
I had brought some new dog games with me for the dogs to play with. Boise had never seen the Tic Tac game so we brought it out. He is so much larger than Benny - he couldn't really get his nose in the sections to get his treat! But he was so creative and found wonderful ways work the Kyjen game.
We all were amazed how the two dogs found different ways to play with the game and achieve the goal of finding the little treats.
Julian was interested in this.
He understood that dogs do things differently and learn differently, just as people do.
Just as he does.
Then Julian was able focus enough to give each dog a small treat from his opened hand.
Boise was lying on the floor and I put Benny down and let them "play" a little with one another. Boise stayed on his mark but little Benny wanted to move all over his friend to play. It was good to see Julian not startled by Benny moving quicker and engaging his dog friend.
Then Julian did a word seek game right next to the dogs. And was able to concentrate on the game.
So while we started off slowly today, we finished with many high fives and excitement and pride.