Yesterday Gus and I got to make our first real visit as Hoffman Hospice volunteers. We met the client and the family in their home and Gus made sure to sit in front of everyone at least a couple of times. You know, spread the love. He was on his best behaviour and I was really proud of him.
Kim, the volunteer coordinator met us there. She always likes to go along on the first few visits with new volunteers, just to make sure things go as they should. She gave Gus his very own Hoffman Volunteer badge.
Afterwards we talked about trying to make arrangements for Gus to visit in a group facility as well. She said she met with some resistance from the facility manager because of prior disappointments with other groups of "therapy dogs". It seems the owners weren't as committed as had been hoped and appointments weren't kept, etc. Kim assured her that being registered with Therapy Dogs International as well as being a Hoffman Hospice volunteer that we were different. We go through a certain amount of testing and training before being accepted into the program. Not only that but unlike some of the other dogs we are fully insured against any possible visit related accident.
That info seemed to sway her to our favor and hopefully we'll be able to start scheduling regular visits there as well.
So that was our first experience with volunteering and the best news is that we were invited back. Of course! How could you not love Gus?