Watch for signs that your therapy dog needs to retire. This can be tough on you… you love what you’re doing. Folks look forward to seeing your dog week after week. You want to keep it up – but your teammate has had enough. This could happen for many reasons: advancing age, arthritis, or just simply – your dog doesn’t enjoy doing it anymore.
For me, Trudi loved visiting with her pal Phoebe. Together they visited patients in a mental health unit in an area hospital. What a pair they were! The patients – and staff – loved their weekly visits. When Phoebe died very suddenly, Trudi didn’t want to go on her own. Several weeks after Phoebe passed, Trudi and I made a first visit back to the unit. She literally balked at the door and refused – yes refused – to budge. She wouldn’t enter the unit. She was done – and I had to respect that.
Therapy visits are hard work for dogs. They’re working the entire time. Watch for what your dog is telling you. When they’re not happy doing it or physically, they’re having difficulty doing it, it’s time to stop. If you want to keep visiting, get another dog. That’s what I did.