Spencer had two party invitations this week. Tuesday night he was invited to the Chattanooga Brain Injury Association Christmas party. The problem with parties is that the humans like to eat at parties. It's awfully hard for a therapy dog to do his job when the humans are eating chicken fingers, especially one as food driven as Spence.
One of the other therapy dog's owners brought some agility equipment. She set up a few jumps and a tunnel so that the agility trained dogs could entertain a little. Obviously, little terrier owners are not as concerned as I was - I was certain Spencer's route would be jump-tunnel-jump-table holding chicken fingers. I had to reverse the course for my chowhound.
Tonight he was invited to be a reading dog at a local church hosting the Interfaith Hospitality Network. IHN ministers to homeless families with children, giving them places to sleep in churches along with meals and activities for the kids. IHN is one of our favorite reading dog opportunities - they are always in the evening which make it easier for us to get to.
When we got there tonight at the appointed time, they were running a little late. They were just gathering to eat, and what do you think they were eating? No - not chicken fingers. Worse. Much Worse. They had a little indoor grill and OMG they were GRILLING HOT DOGS. Needless to say, Spencer was really not in the mood to lie quietly and listen to "The Cat in the Hat" after smelling hot dogs cooking for a half hour.
After a while, we were able to find a room down the hall where a perfectly charming young boy named Marcus read the first chapter of "Because of Winn Dixie" to Spencer. It was really quite moving - the boy's father was sitting near by and he was obviously proud of the wonderful job Marcus did. As they walked back to their sleeping quarters, he asked his son if he would read the next chapter to him before going to bed - it brought a tear to my eye.