Today we went to the NAMI Hut (their main building in Rock Hill) for coffee and conversation time. I decided to challenge Felix by not bringing his mat and not getting out his Himalayan Chew. I had one in my purse just in case, though!
He did a really good job! He did try to pick stuff up off the carpet a little bit here and there, but I was able to redirect him and for the most part he lay on the floor and hung out like a good boy.
At one point, a man there came over and sat next to me and told me he’d show me how people treat him when they find out he has money on him. As part of this, he laid his hand on top of my thigh, which I did not appreciate. I didn’t know how to handle the man’s intrusion, but Felix was holding his down really nicely so I just leaned away from the man and shoved treats in Felix’s face. Luckily the man went away after a few seconds. I had a few problems with the man saying misogynistic things, but was able to talk with other people there after a while which was good. He clearly needed some help, and I think one of my NAMI friends was able to connect him with some resources.
Felix got to practice greeting people while we were there. He did a good job of not doing the thing where he rears up on his back legs and does the begging pawing motion with his front paws—at least at first. He waited politely for people to ask me if they could pet him, then I released him to visit. He was super appropriate when visiting with people, and with returning his attention to me afterwards. But then almost every time, after getting a treat from me for a good greet, he’d do the pawing the air thing at them! So we have to work on that. Maybe he needs to know what to do after greeting people, and I should give him some direction like to sit or down or something.
I was very happy to be able to go back to the NAMI Hut today! It had been over a month since I’d been there, and that is entirely too long! I was able to see several people I see there regularly, and hang out with them, plus friends came that I haven’t seen in a while and it was really wonderful to see them as well. They were all so excited to hear that Alice had gotten fat and now needs to be on a diet! Little Alice, I hope we never have to worry about you not eating again!
Also, in exciting news, someone donated a gift card for me to NAMI—they wanted to remain anonymous, but wanted to thank me for the work I put into volunteering for NAMI! Yay!
I can’t wait to go back in two weeks for the next coffee and conversation (I go twice a month), and I’m hoping to be able to attend an event there this Thursday. Even when I have an odd experience there, visiting the Hut is always good overall.