A couple of days back, I helped a friend put together a group of medical documents and CDs to send to an Multiple Sclerosis doctor in Los Angeles on behalf of her son. I realized that she needed a copy of a CD (didn't want to send her original) so I took the whole package home and told her she could pick up the copied CD later.
At around 6 p.m. she called, asking if she could pick up the CD. She was taking her son out of the hospital for a break and they were going to a local coffee place. I asked her if they would like coffee here and she said they would enjoy that.
Kipawa had met Bev earlier that day, but it was the first time he met Greg, her son, who was using his wheelchair. You could see Kipawa's wheels turning. "Oh, he has a wheelchair too, just like my human Dad, and that means he needs respect". For the 1.5 hours they were at our place, Kipawa's behaviour was nothing short of stellar. He moved around everyone for a few pets here and there, then sat on HIS lounge chair with us, chewing a toy and just being part of the pack.
At one point Greg had to use the bathroom fast. So he got out of his wheelchair, and using his cane, walked down the hall. Well, the next thing blew our minds. Kipawa actually became confused and paced a little. I really believe that he was thinking "but if you sit in that chair you aren't supposed to get up, because that's the way it is for my Dad".
All of us were so amazed, because it was so obvious why Kipawa had become 'alerted'. He followed Greg down the hall and sat outside the bathroom door. When Greg got out, he walked with Greg back to the patio. He stuck like glue to Greg, until Greg sat down in his wheelchair. THEN he went back to his lounge chair and started to play with his toy again.
Greg LOVED Kipawa, and Kipawa was so great with Greg. He was so subdued with us out on the patio, because usually when people come over he thinks they are there for HIS enjoyment. He loved all of the petting everyone was giving him, WITHOUT the excitement factor. I think Kipawa is going to be wonderful with visiting people at GF Strong, our local spinal cord injury rehab hospital. We still have a number of things to work on before he becomes a therapy dog, but his behaviour that night really made me proud. However, I give credit where credit is due. Thank you Therese.