Rio Goes To College!
Yesterday Rio went to his first Therapy Dog visit to Community College of Allegheny County–North Hills Campus. He was an absolute rockstar and seemed to love all the attention. CCAC even had a FANTASTIC poster announcing his presence and sent out a campus wide email which was very exciting–a few of the professors who stopped by actually said they came in a little bit early to meet him!
He was surrounded by 6 or 7 people for most of his visit and was greeting at least one or two people for nearly our entire visit–it only slowed down near the end, after classes had begun. He snuggled with students, professors, and staff and I got to chit chat with all sorts of people. He greeted about 35-40 different people over the course of his hour and a half long visit.
Everyone seemed to love him and they all thought he was really cool looking. Even many of the people who didn’t come up to say hello smiled at him as they walked by! He’s just THAT funny looking 🙂
I got tons of compliments on him and I was a crazy proud Momma! I will say the biggest challenge that I had was trying to juggle talking with so many people at once. I’d be having a conversation with one person while another person was simultaneously trying to start a conversation with me and it was quite the struggle.
By the end of our visit, Rio was making a choice to lay down and waiting for people to come to him to pet and snuggle! It was very cute, he was totally exhausted. An hour and a half long visit being the only therapy dog was a bit long for him, he was clearly tired though also clearly satisfied.
I’m hopeful that we’ll get to go back to CCAC for mid-terms and finals in the future. We seemed to be very well received by students and staff so I think it will definitely work out. Next time our visit will be a little bit shorter to not totally wear out Rio and perhaps we’ll have another team with us by then!
Oh, I was also happily surprised by the handful of people who questioned his body language and whether he really LIKED his job. One man (professor I think) was a little hesitant to pet him, “but his tail is tucked so far.” It was nice to explain that the whippet in him gives him very reserved body language but that if you stop petting him, he’ll make it well known that he wants you to keep petting by either putting his head under your hand or going to someone else to get attention. He then gave Rio some pets and sure enough, when he stopped petting Rio pushed his head under his hands asking for more!