December 5th 2004 2:07 pm
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About two months after we adopted Bailey and just a few days after removing the pins from his jaw he went with me and the president of our Humane Society (Tammie) to a school. The children had done a collection drive for items for the shelter and we went to thank them and talk to them about how the shelter worked and how to properly care for their pets. Tammie asked me to bring Bailey and tell his adoption story. I was hesitant. Hallie didn't like kids. My previous two Schnauzers didn't like kids. I hadn't had Bailey out much and the thought of having him around hundreds of kids made me nervous but I agreed to do it.
When we arrived at the school Bailey wore his Ho Ho hat and Christmas collar. We got our display set up and then the children came pouring in. They didn't go sit on their carpet squares like they were told. Instead they all ran squeeling "Puppy puppy puppy" at Bailey. I yelled "One at a time! Gentle! Quiet!" over and over but I might as well have been speaking Japanese. Much to my surpise, Bailey loved it! Those kids were piled on him like a cheerleading pyramid gone bad. Bailey was in Heaven. I lost total control over him. Once the kids settled down onto their carpet squares, Bailey tugged on the leash. He wanted to go out to the children. While Tammie and I talked I let Bailey loose. Those kids didn't pay a bit of attention to us grown-ups. Instead they all took turns hugging and petting Bailey.
I cried. Somebody in Bailey's past had been horrible to him but despite all that he was the most loving and gentle dog I've ever known. Seeing him with those kids made my heart sing. That's when I knew I wanted him to be a therapy dog.
After the kids went back to their classrooms, Tammie and I tore down our displays and gathered up all the goodies the kids had donated and headed for the car. Bailey didn't want to leave. He pulled with all his might and drug me back into each and every class room. When he entered the kids jumped from the seats and ran to him. I appologized to the teachers for disrupting their classes.
Unfortunately Bailey was called Home 11 months later and he never got to realize the dream of becoming a certified therapy dog. On occasion I would take him to our doggie friendly mall where he could get "wallered" by the kids in the food court. He loved every minute of it.
See all diary entries for Bailey (In loving memory)|