You meet a lot of people when you have a puppy; I have never chatted with so many strangers in my life, including people who like dogs, people who own dogs, and especially people who own Berners. Berner owners are always eager to meet each other.
Thus, we recently met a nice lady with a 14 month old male Berner called Beowulf, and he was an especially good looking sample of his breed. The lady on the other hand had a bit of a silly fashion sense as far as I was concerned: the military uniform she was wearing was pretty standard, but she chose to decorate her jacket with couple of stars on each shoulder. Perhaps her granddaughter gave those to her? Those were my thoughts. Ted’s thoughts: Wow, Major General!
He proceeded to explain the significance of the stars to me. Yes, indeed very impressive. But the nice lady also impressed us with something else: she was volunteering Beowulf as a therapy dog for patients at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
We loved that idea, and are pondering doing the same with Trouble. In about a year from now, when she has completed all her basic obedience training, we can have her pass (hopefully) the Good Canine Citizenship test, the prerequisite to become a therapy dog (they obviously need to be well behaved and trained). Once she is certified we can volunteer her to local hospitals where patients may delight in some cuddly fuzz therapy.
I really don’t get the doggie beauty pageants or cart pulling contests etc. But volunteering your pooch to brighten sick people’s days, now that I like.