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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Behind the Scenes

We have been so pleased to share some of the wonderful stories of our visits. However Gopher has to do a lot of work in order to meet his adoring public, his beauty and perfection is natural, but he does need a spit shine from time to time.

First thing to get ready is his pawticure. About every two weeks we trim toe fur as needed and grind nails so they are nice and smooth. To sweeten the pot we use a wooden spoon that was dipped in a peanut butter jar and then frozen. First we warm him up with the taste of peanut butter. 

Then he is ready to submit to nail grinding and paw trimming.

Once the nails are ground down then it is time for a good brush to get ready for this bath. 

As you can see it is very difficult for him. He gets into such a deep relaxation while being brushed this is a time when he can startle easily so be ready for the barks at the end of the video. He is brushed before and after every bath, and immediately before each visit.

After he is brushed it is time to brush his teeth. I try to make sure I brush his teeth three to four times a week. He seems to like the taste of the canine toothpaste.

Finally once that portion of grooming is complete it is time to take a bath. Gopher has been exposed to regular bathing since he was a pup to prepare him for the frequent bathing he would require once he was a therapy dog.

Despite our preparation for this when he was only 10 months old Gopher decided to roll in a skunk carcass and required frequent baths with a shampoo that had to sit in his fur for sometime. He won;t fight us during a bath, but does do his best hang down work during shampooing.

By the time we get to his conditioning, necessary to keep his skin from drying out, he gives us the seriously aren't we done yet looks.

After his conditioner has set in for a few minutes, he is rinsed thoroughly and towel dried. After every bath Gopher has to roll and he gives me three choices where to roll, since our home is hardwood floors with no carpeting his selection is limited.

1. Preferred by Gopher is in the yard.
2. The leather couch.
3. A bed.

Since the yard will make him dirty as he is still a little damp, and I don't want water to damage the leather he gets to roll in bed. 

Gopher is usually completely dry within an hour and ready to visit. In the video below you will see Gopher getting 'dressed' and leaving for work. What we did not capture on video was Gopher cocking his head at the mention of work, dancing, pin-wheel tail, and running toward the door.

What we were also did not capture was in the car as we approach a facility or home he will begin bouncing from side to side in the car and whimpering in excitement. This is a dog who loves his job.

Depending on what type of visit we do that day when we are done we sometimes have to follow up with a phone call reporting our visit.

Once the phone call is complete we also have to fill out and mail in a report on our visit as well.

Once the visits are complete, and paper work filed. Gopher is often treated to pancakes and/or his favorite activity. 


Thanks for reading.


  1. Very nice accounting of a wonderful service both you and Gopher do! I am sure he brings delight to many people during his visitations. Keep up the good work Gopher!

    Your golden pals in Rhode Island

    1. Thank you so much and thank you for being my first Rhode Islander to visit. I am not just a gloating father, I am impressed every time by how much Gopher loves to work and the impacts he has made.