Leslie: (calling from her office chair) Nugget, c’mere buddy! I know you really want to finish tearing up that new dog stuffy to spread fluff all over the office, but Lacey wants to hear about how life is going as a 1+ yr old Golden Retriever therapy dog in training.
Nugget: (bounding in from the other room, enthusiastically leaping on Leslie’s lap) LACEY! I love Lacey, she’s Lola’s mom and is always ready to pet my soft head or give me amazing treats!
Leslie: (Gently, but firmly removing Nugget from her lap) Ok, sit down buddy. Remember your manners, no “LAP” unless I ask and then it’s only supposed to be your front paws, not your whole 55+ lb body.
Nugget: (Looking temporarily sheepish) Sorry, mom. (Tail wagging) What does Lacey want? Does she have a treat? Does Lola want to give me one of her toys that I always try to steal from her basket?
Leslie: No Nugs, Lacey wants to know about your therapy training. She wants to know if we have been going back to class and what that is like?
Nugget: Ooooh, well. That has sure been weird, hasn’t it? I remember when you first brought me home, we were supposed to go to school every week at the kennel with my friends and my brothers. Except for summer break. We haven’t gotten to do that hardly at all…except for summer!
Leslie: That’s hard sometimes, isn’t it, little man? You see your friends and you’ve miss them so much since social distancing began. You have to concentrate on what I or the teacher is telling you, instead of playing. It’s so hard! I bet you are glad to see your friends and at the same time disappointed when you can’t play with them.
Nugget: That’s exactly how I feel! You and my big brother Chance are awesome, but I miss running and wrestling with dogs my age. It’s really hard to concentrate on what the teacher is saying when all I want to do is leap, jump, and bark! Plus, I love being outside! It’s difficult to be good; all I want to do is smell everything, watch the world go by, and PLAY!
Leslie: I know, buddy. We have to be outside and separated from our friends because of Covid-19. That’s why I wear a mask when I leave the house too. You know, your school struggles are a lot like all our human therapy friends; they are having to adapt to new school and work situations too, while keeping themselves and their families healthy. Some of them don’t get to go to school or work at all. This is a hard year to be a puppy or a human.
Nugget: Ugh! I guess so, I wish I could cheer up our human therapy friends! I was so excited to be a therapy dog, able to come to the office with you and give some puppy love to your clients. I really want to be able to snuggle kiddos on the couch or let someone pet me as they talk about hard stuff with you. I’m disappointed I don’t get to see them in person anymore.
Leslie: Me too! Someday in the next year, when we’ve finished our dog training, inside or out, and you’re officially a Therapy Dog, we will go to our new office and be able to support our therapy friends again. I know you are going to be an amazing Therapy Dog. (Gestures for Nugget to put his paws on her lap.)
Nugget: (Gently placing his paws across Leslie’s legs, leaning in to get his chest scratched) Aww, thanks Mom! I sure hope so!