Slater, as in the world's #1 surfer Kelly Slater, (fka Marx) has adapted well to our home. He is beyond a sweet boy, and he has been trying to bond with our other guy, Finley.
We have decided to try and put Slater through Therapy Dog training based upon what we have seen in terms of his disposition. He has been accepted into training, and now has been given his own "In Training" vest from the hospital folks. We are encouraged by his successes so far, and he seems to enjoy it.
I recently decided to take Slater to the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. While there, we reached out to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to let them know there was a Therapy Dog in Training attending the U.S. Open, and could they use him in any capacity. We were asked to come to the Hillman Cancer Center to visit adult patients (no acute care access in that he has not finished his training). We visited in the general areas, and the little man was great and brought many smiles. So successful was our visit that they asked if we could visit the Children's Hospital at some point. We did the next day (see pic from when we walked in since photos with the kids are not allowed per HIPPA, though the parents took some for their personal use). All in all, he has wonderful potential.
Slater also did great at the Open! 35,000 people walking around, he was great. Obviously, from the pics with one of the players, he has taken to the wearing of goggles and sun glasses, so, much like our beloved Cheech, he was very popular and photographed, literally, hundreds of times. The Tour players were highly amused, and, while they expressed their sadness at the loss of Cheech, they suggested that Slater might fill the very big paws of his predecessor.
So he has been a wonderful addition to our family. He has a fun personality, and we think there are upcoming smiles for cancer kids as he learns his trade.