Kelly, my trained therapy dog, and I have been a registered therapy team for several years. She had flunked both service and therapy dog training with Assistance Dogs because she barks. I had fostered her for over a year, fighting the barking issue all the time, so when she was released from the program, I said, “Well, she’s my dog.” I paid the adoption fee and brought her home.
We took additional classes together. There was training and testing, sometimes quite challenging. Now, at nine years of age, she is still a barker though she keeps it pretty well contained when we are working. We visit a nursing home regularly. In the several years we have been doing that, she has only barked two or three times.
We are registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Inc. This is not a requirement of nursing homes but it does provide insurance in the event anyone would ever claim any kind of injury because the dog was there.
This requires annual re-registration. Ours comes due in January, so the paperwork is done in December. I know that’s coming up and always think the organization waits a little too late to send out the forms.
Part of the registration is an annual physical exam complete with a fecal exam to be sure the dog is free of worms. The vet had done a physical a month earlier to check on her congestive heart failure diagnosis, so all that was required was the fecal report and paper work. I wasn’t concerned, as her fecal reports had always been clean.
But! The fecal exam came back positive! We administered the needed medication, waited our two weeks, and did another exam. I stopped for the report fully expecting it to be clear. But it wasn’t. Better, but not clear.
What’s going on? Dogs pick up worms from other animals and those we have! The neighbor dogs come over regularly, but Kelly doesn’t bother their leavings. One of the vet technicians asked if she goes out alone. Yes, she does. Then, bunny poop is the usual culprit.
Well, I can’t control the bunnies, so I’ve kept Kelly on leash for the past two weeks while we await the next exam and its results. That’s today. Hopefully, we will get a clean report. So, we are in the bunny poop delay and will have to miss a couple of visits while we wait on our new registration.
After reading this, you probably know more about fecal exams, dog worms, and bunny poop than you ever wanted to know.
But, you know what? Bunny poop seems like such a small thing! Yet it’s the small things that distract us and can pull us away from our first love – the love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Do as I do for Kelly – do a regular check-up, but on your spiritual life, make corrections as necessary, even to restraining yourself as though on leash. Don’t let life’s bunny poop keep you from living for Christ.