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The importance of routine

Routine is very important to dogs. We always try to factor in some consistent routine for our therapy dogs when working. For instance, Benny works in a behavioral health hospital. After a year of suspension due to Covid, re-establishing the routine was very important as we resume visits. The visit begins in the parking lot and anyone who is there is always interested in meeting Benny. Then we let him potty outside and ring the bell to be let in. We walk into the lobby and he greets the receptionist. Then, since we are usually early, we sit in the lobby for a few minutes waiting until our coordinator greets us. On the way into the space we use, there is a small courtyard and I always take Benny through there. He loves the grass. In the room Benny knows the clients will sit around him and he lay on his blanket on the floor. Then he is invited to walk around (on his leash) to greet everyone. He never leaves anyone out! When our session is completed we return to the courtyard and he gets to walk or roll around on the grass again. This brackets the visit nicely for him. He knows the pattern so well that he sits by the door to the courtyard and waits for it to be opened for him!

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