They say every dog has his day. At Country Club Village in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the day for several lucky dogs is Tuesday. Because each Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm, professional dog trainer Lola Warren leads a whole pack of happy hounds and Village residents through an energetic hour of obedience exercises.
At each class, Warren helps the residents guide their dogs through basic obedience commands aimed at making the pups more respectful of their owners and other dogs, and ultimately, more helpful. Classes have been going so well, Warren plans to eventually teach the dogs to do useful things for their owners, like retrieving cell phones and remotes, opening the refrigerator, and even fetching canes.
"I’m enjoying the classes a lot,” says Country Club Village resident Nelun Jayasundera. “Lola is a wonderful trainer. I find that my dog is socializing much better with other dogs and working with her really makes me much more active, too. It's very important for me to get up every morning and practice her sit and stay."
According to Stacy Drennan, the Village’s Activity Director, the classes have benefits that reach well beyond the owners and their four-legged best friends.
“We're finding that there are more people in the room without dogs than with them,” she says. “The other residents just love watching!”
"I really enjoy the dog training sessions, even though I don't have a puppy anymore,” says Country Club Villager Clara Northcutt. “It's beautiful! I'd like to have every one of those dogs and take them home with me."
While it may not be possible for every resident to have a furry friend in their apartment, it’s always great to see so many tails wagging at Country Club Village on Tuesday afternoons, and everyone begging for more.
*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living