Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sally The Wonder Dog

Sally was a German Short Haired Pointer. Sally and I first met when I applied to Guide Dogs for a P.E.T. dog for the facility where I worked as a therapist.
Sally was one of a litter of pups that were donated to Guide dogs. All her siblings made it as trained guide dogs except for her. She went into the Pet as Therapy program.
Sally and I had many sessions of one day visits before we each knew and understood each other well enough to become partners.

Sally lived with myself and family . Part of her on going training was to attend dog training school each week to keep her up to scratch so to speak. It was always a little embarrassing to me when she won frequent prizes. As well as dog training school Sally and I had to work at least 15 minutes per day going through her obedience commands and hand signals. The residents who liked dogs just loved her and those that were not so keen, well that did not bother her, she could handle rejection.

Sally worked wiith me until I retired after eleven years of working , Sally was allowed to retire with me and lived out the rest of her life as a family member. She died when she was seventeen years old. She was very entertaining, she never liked having her nails clipped as a result of this if ever I tried to cut my own nails in front of her, she would try to mouth the Clippers away from me.

Sally resented the birds being fed when we lived at The Palms, where for a time my husband Lyle and I shared a property with Peter. We each had our own seperate living quarters, it was a very lovely place to live. Sally astounded Peter by snapping up a piece of bread he had dropped whilst feeding the birds. This she held in her mouth with her soft jowls puffed out standing and making no attempt to eat the bread. Peter said to her" I will give that to the birds " she then swallowed it down in one "glump".

Another of the many other things that she did of interest was to show us where two baby Rainbow Lorrikeets had fallen from a tree in the garden. She caught the attention of one of my friends and myself , took us to where these babies were. She was so gentle and so intelligent. Her feats were far too many to record here, Sally never knew she was a dog she thought she was one of us.
She ate salad with us, fruit, picked her own tomatoes off the bush in the garden as she wanted them.
She truly was a wonder to those of us who knew and loved her.

A little about Pet as Therapy Scheme.

Pets have been found to be very beneficial to people in residential care, as no doubt
many of you will know. At the facility where I now work there are three cats.
"Sylvester," black and white. (what a surprise)" Kitty" Ginger and white Cornish Rex. and "Tiger Lily" tabby converted farm cat. These cats know and entertain those who like cats, they know who those who don't like them. They give love an comfort to many.

One dog Amber Shetland Sheepdog. She cadges illicit biscuits from as many people as she possibly can.

There is an aviary with budgies, cockatiels, grass parrots and miniature quails. The Quails have babies at the moment, they are about half inch in size. Very cute and a popular visit site.

There are five bantam hens, one rooster and and some ducks. It is wonderful to see the interaction of those people who are inclined to appreciate animals.
All of these animals are very pampered and spoiled I might add.


JunieRose2005 said...


This is such a very interesting post- about SALLY!
She sounds like a wonderful dog to have known!

We had a little dog who would always keep us informed of all the new baby chicks that hatched -
Once she even led us to a still-born calf that we had been unable to find!She (Buffy) lived to be about 14 years old.

Dogs are amazing!

I also enjoyed the photos you posted.


Merle said...

Hi Margaret ~ You have been busy.
Sally was sure a wonder dog. The Pet therapy seems like a good idea. A very interesting post. Well done.
Take care, Love, Merle.

Peter said...

You got the title right for your post on Sally Margaret, but you need a follow up post on where she lived pal!!

Margaret said...

Hi Peter thanks for your comment,what do you mean follow up post? Is this a wazza and Peter moment? Cheers Margaret