Today was a big test for Churry. We were invited to visit a nursing home to do a short presentation and visit with the residents. I really wasn't sure what to expect and was very nervous because Churry still struggles with her manners when she wants attention. She paws and licks until she gets the petting she is seeking. We work on it all the time, but still have a lot of work to do.
It was a great experience for her. The mannerisms of the residents are much different from young children, which is what Churry is most accustomed to. Churry kept either trying to paw/pull or get into a "Down" position to be pet. The residents were all in wheelchairs and many had a rolling table/stand next to them that she was interested in. They had also recently had a snack so there were a few crumbs and their hands smelled like food. There were also a variety of "things" lying around that Churry was very interested in. She was pretty nervous/excited/curious all at the same time!
Two residents in particular stole our hearts, though. One lady latched on to Churry and for some amazingly incredible reason, Churry sat absolutely still, kept her paws down, and only licked when the lady asked for "kisses". She bent completely over in her wheelchair, wrapped both arms totally around Churry like she was hugging a small child and just hugged and kissed Churry for at least 10 minutes with her arms totally around her like that. She kept saying, "Oh, I love you, I love you." It was the sweetest thing! Now, as I've mentioned before, Churry is NOT a snuggler and she totally shocked me that she not only tolerated this hugging from this woman, but didn't budge from her until I asked her to stand up and leave with me. The lady begged us to come back and see her again. I reassured her we would. I think Churry has made a friend for life!
The 2nd lady who really made an impression on us was SO excited to meet a dog that may be a guide dog. I couldn't convince her that she might be a social or service dog, too. She just thought Churry was absolutely amazing. She just kept saying "I've never met a guide dog before. Oh, this is so exciting!" I truly think meeting a "guide" dog ranked right up there with meeting the president of the United States or something! It was very sweet!
Even though I wasn't impressed with Churry's subpar greeting skills today, the staff there thought she was amazing and invited us back on a regular basis. I'm excited for the opportunity to continue working with this group of people since I don't encounter elderly people very often and she definitely needs to work on her manners around them. And, I wouldn't want to disappoint that sweet woman who loved Churry so much!