Prepping for our Visits as a Pet Partner Team

I’ve been asked what goes into getting your dog ready for a visit to a nursing home or assisted living facility as part of a Delta Society Pet Partner team. Kendall and I just returned from our bi-weekly visit, and I thought I’d walk you through our prep and visit.

Wednesday 7:00 pm – It’s time for a good brushing. The more hair I can brush out and tangles I can remove before the bath, the better it is for both of us.

Wednesday 7:30 pm – It’s time for a bath. All dogs need to be bathed within 24 hrs of a visit to a facility. Kendall doesn’t mind her bath once she’s in there. She stands still until I’m done. I try not to get her ears wet. I leave that for the monthly groomer visits. I’m always afraid I won’t get them dry enough and that there will be an infection.

Wednesday 7:40 pm – Zoomies!!!! Zoom, zoom, zoom. All over the house. Kendall does something my friend calls the car wash that helps dry her off. She’ll run in circles and pass through your legs on each circle. As she runs through, I hold out the towel and dry her off as she runs past.

Wednesday 7:50 pm – Time to wipe the eyes and dry out the ears just in case any water got in to them. It’s also time for a breath check. So far, so good.

Wednesday – Thursday overnight – Drying. Kendall’s coat is really thick and it can take hours to dry. She has a fairly curly coat, so sleeping on it won’t make it look any wackier than it already does.

Thursday 5:00 am – Brushing. Kendall loves to be brushed. She lays in my lap in the morning as I drink my coffee and watch the news before going to work. It’s a great time to sneak in some brushing.

Thursday 2:30 pm – I’m home from work, just in time for quick brushing and trip to the park. I work for a great company that sees the value in volunteering. I’m able to come home early enough on volunteer days to get her ready for our visits and still be finished before the residents go to dinner. I like to take Kendall for a fairly long walk before taking her to visit. It tires her out a bit and she tends to be better behaved and less distracted when I do.

Thursday 3:30 pm – It’s show time. Kendall has a fan club of very nice ladies who just adore her. We stop by the activities room to see who is there and then make our rounds to the rooms of people who like to have Kendall come visit. There are always plenty of treats for Kendall as she makes her rounds. Her fan club seems to be growing each time we visit. Our visits usually last anywhere from 45 min. to an hour. It all depends on Kendall. If she looks like she’s tiring out or looking stressed, we cut it a bit short. We always make sure to remind them that we’ll see them next time we’re there to visit.

Thursday 4:30 pm – Time for a quick potty break and a trip home. I always make sure I wipe down her paws and coat when we get home. It’s dinner time for Kendall. She usually takes a nap after we get home.

As you can see, it takes more than just putting on the vest and showing up at the facility to do your visiting. The looks of joy on the faces of the people we visit more than make up for the time spent getting Kendall ready for her visits.

If you ‘d like to read about what it takes to become a Delta Society Pet Partner Team, check out my post from April.