In the category of “who’d’ve thunk”!
Jacks are a wonderful breed, but the reality is, you don’t see the words Jack Russell and Service Dog often in the same sentence! Here is a great little story about Robbie, a JRTRO rescue who has gone on to live the life of a Service Dog in a seniors residence. Enjoy!
Robbie came to us from Kentucky as a stray on Robbie Burns day. That is how this perfect little man got his name. He is about 9 years old and has the personality of an angel. He is gentle but enthusiastic to interact with people and great with other dogs and cats.
Shortly after he came to us to foster, I took him to the nursing home where my mom lives to visit because the seniors really love seeing the dogs and I knew he had the personality to be a good pet visitor. Of course, everyone there loved him as he gently paid attention to each of the seniors in turn, coming for pets but not jumping up. I put him in my mother’s lap as she is in a wheelchair and he sat patiently while she petted and kissed him and he even returned a kiss or two.
When I wrote his bio for the web page, I included his trip to the nursing home and praised him for his sweet and loving personality. Little did I know that there was an Executive Director of a nursing home named Rodrigo looking for new buddy with plans to have his new dog come to work with him and if possible become part of the pet therapy program at his nursing home.
Rodrigo came to meet Robbie and it was love at first sight. Robbie now weekends in Algonquin Park hiking and boating with Rodrigo, but through the week Robbie has a job! Mornings he spends in the office with Rodrigo and oversees the business end of running a nursing home. Afternoons he is in the structured pet therapy program from 1-3 pm where he visits the residents and brings joy to their lives.
There are two resident cats in the program as well. Apparently Robbie washes Pinky the cat’s face. Pinky is not thrilled, but the residents love it.
Rod says the residents ask for Robbie by name which he finds amazing since most of them cannot remember Rodrigo’s name and he has been there three years. He also says there are far less complaints since Robbie has been there.
Who knew that this little Jack that was destined to be euthanized as a stray, saved by the good people of JRTRO, could be a working dog and the light of the residents’ lives in a nursing home in Toronto.
– contributed by JRTRO Foster Mom Jan Glancy