Safe PassageStart Date: 03/17/2022
Received an email from Safe Passage POC on Tuesday, 15 Mar which indicated due to a slow week they do not have many cases scheduled, but there was one case early Thursday morning and asked if I could switch times. I was able to accommodate the request and could be there until 0930 on Thursday.
After arrival at the facility we waited in the main lobby area for the clients to arrive. I was notified that they also scheduled an additional 2 families within a half hour since we were going to be there.
The first family arrived, mom, dad and a 16 year old teen. The family was excited to see us in the waiting area and came over to us after check in. The whole family were engaged with Willow, asking about her and the work she does. The teen was initially very quiet and reserved but then started talking about her 11 German Shepards ( 9 were 9 week old puppies) at home. While mom and dad left to talk with counselor, the teen, desk attendant and I stayed engaged in talking about dogs and dog training, her school and classes while she stayed engaged with Willow.
The other two families checked in for their appointments, three elementary school boys and their moms. They entered the group conversation about their dogs. The boys, the moms and the female team had a great time with Willow and asked a lot of questions how she is trained, how long it took to train her and teach her the obedience skills that Willow demonstrated. They enjoyed giving Willow the commands I taught them and were excited when Willow would respond to them. All the parents and youth loved showing us pictures of their dogs and telling us all about them.
As the teen left for her interview, the Play Room volunteer arrived and the group of boys were invited to move into the playroom. The counselors then came to get each child for their interview. As the boys left they said that having Willow here and being able to play with her was the "best thing ever!". They planned to go home and teach their dogs some of the commands that Willow showed them.