Gopher is such a sweet and loving boy that I have never for one moment had a fear of him hurting anyone. I have had one fear though, but got over it relatively quickly in therapy dog class as he seemed to never notice those tennis balls mocking him from the tips of a walker. Despite his good performance in class it always remained a fear of mine and I have always tried to be attentive to any medical equipment using tennis balls. My fear abated itself as we continued training and working with Gopher. Only to have me reminded of it in the Pixar film 'Up'.
Shortly after this scene while sneaking around the ship, you find this cute lovable Golden chewing on the tennis balls of Carl Fredricksen's cane.
My fear was only a little more irrational and it was Gopher seeing the balls on a walker or cane, pulling away from me, grabbing the ball, and taking off down the hall with man or woman in tow. The manifestation of my fear came through today on our visit, fortunately not as severely as imagined.
Gopher and I began our visit with the patient and he received a lot of pets and compliments on his gentle nature and beauty. All things he knows but still loves hearing. After a few minutes the patient stopped petting and Gopher laid at his feet as we visited for a few more moments and set up our next visit. Then it happened out of the corner of my eye I noticed the walker move. The patient was sitting and not in contact with the walker, so I looked down, and saw Gopher take the ball in his mouth again, this time giving the walker a vicious shake attempting to have it surrender the prize. No hiding it now as I corrected Gopher. The patient laughed hysterically and petted Gopher again, telling him he was a good boy, and the walker was mean for keeping the tennis ball from him. Glad he had a sense of humor and I cannot wait to get to know him better when we visit again later this week, this time with a clean tennis ball in the therapy bag to distract Gopher if needed.