Thursday, December 20, 2007

First Visit--Or Not

Today was supposed to be Gus's and my first visit as volunteer visitors for Hoffman Hospice. Like I said before, I was a little nervous. But I knew everything would be okay because we had met the client at Hoffman Hospice a few days ago, and my boss, Kim, the volunteer coordinator, would be with us while we made our first couple of visits.

The Therapy Dogs are supposed to be bathed within 24 hours of each visit. I didn't bathe Gus yesterday, so I gave him his bath today. He wasn't real thrilled with the whole ordeal.

First I cleaned his ears out with doggie ear wipes. He puts up with that pretty well because I have to do that on a weekly basis anyway. Then I brushed him thoroughly. First with an "undercoat rake" to help remove dead hair. Then with the pin brush to collect any other hairs. Then I used a "stripping knife" to remove fuzzy hairs that weren't supposed to be there. As if you didn't know, Golden Retrievers are very hairy dogs. Gus loves the brushing part.

Next comes the actual bath. I got him in the tub and since there's no shower on the end of a hose I used a large plastic tumbler to help wet him down. I took off my socks and shoes, rolled up my pants and got into the tub with him. I think he liked that. After I got him all wet, I sudsed him up real well. I think he didn't like that.

Then I had to rinse all the lather off of him. That took a while because I was using the cup. Finally he was rinsed clean. He stood with his front paws on the rim while I towelled him dry.

At last he was towel dried to my satisfaction. Now he was clean!

He was also ready to get out of the bathroom!

I let him outside to finish drying. He was happy to be out!

Our visit was supposed to be at 4 pm. I figured Gus would be totally dry by then and I could also go over him one more time with the pin brush, just for good measure. Kim called around 1:30 and said we were going to have to postpone our visit. With the Christmas holiday hubbub we decided to wait until after the first of the year. Things will be calmer then.

I told Gus the news. He said he'll keep the baby company until we can make our first visit...

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