Last week we had a fantastic visit at Jordan Creek. The people were lively and so happy to see Beanie and he was so obliging to everyone. As we walked around and saw some of the really sick bed-ridden patients and I watched Beanie really sniffing at them, it hit me; some dogs can be trained to detect diseases by smell...what must Beanie be smelling? I can't even to begin to imagine the olfactory overload he must be experiencing in a place like that. All at once it made me appreciate what he does, and what all therapy dogs do, even that much more. I know how distracted and repulsed I can be by smells that it is nearly impossible to concentrate or function in the vicinity of whatever the smell is, but the fact that he can stay composed and offer himself for their enjoyment is really an amazing feat. I don't think most of us give dogs, even if they aren't therapy dogs, enough credit.
My favorite saying as of late is "it is a testament to dogs that people aren't bitten more often". It is amazing how poorly we conduct ourselves with them and still they have the utmost patience and tolerance when dealing with us. Sometimes I wonder who really is the smarter species!
I also think we underestimate dogs on a very regular basis, I know I often do that with Beanie. I hesitate to teach him something new b/c I don't think he can do it or I think it will be too hard to teach him to do it and 99% of the time he shocks me and reminds me that he is quite extraordinary and I should never limit him, or anyone for that matter, in my mind about what they can or can't do!
I love it when Beanie teaches me new things, I guess you can teach an old girl new tricks!