All in all, our first Monday afternoon visit to the library went very well. So well, in fact, that I pushed it too far and ended staying too long…
We arrived a bit later then I had planned – more like 2:30 instead of 2:00. It was fairly quiet with a few folks walking around, choosing books, quietly talking. Annie felt a bit apprehensive at first – and curious – but after about 15 minutes of us mulling through the stacks, looking at books, Annie lay right down by my feet as I stood reading from a book on the shelf; moved on and she lay down by my feet again. A couple of people passed by, fine. One person came and pet her. All was going well.
I looked up a few items on the computer, made a selection, and sat down in our staked-out-cozy-area by the large window. I brought a small bed for her to lie down on – and her special treats. Going nicely. Annie enjoyed posing for me to take her photo. Very content. I sat reading and treating her periodically as she lay at my feet on her bed.
It was now well past 3:00… I had planned to stay only about 20-30 minutes – but since it was going so well, I pushed it. BIG MISTAKE!!! Suddenly, the library became very busy and noisy. I saw Annie’s eyes become large as saucers – people coming through the main door – noisy – she started to bark – and bark some more. An admiring older woman came over and started petting her. Annie loved this attention – but kept one eye on the stream of people coming through the door; more barking! I excused myself – and we were out the side door.
Lesson learned here: I need to heed my own advice. I always tell people who are beginning therapy dog visits to start with short 20-30 minute visits – and gradually build up. Next week, I’ll do better. Annie was fine!