Now that Jazz is 6 months old, and suddenly matured, I decided that it was time for him to make his debut on the residential units. Today was the perfect opportunity, as I had the crisis pager and Ross was always my saving grace in instantly calming the kids. I hoped Jazz could follow in his paw prints.
When we arrived on the state hospital unit, one of the little boys who we were going to check on was in the hallway. He was SO excited to see Jazz, and exclaimed in joy! I had put Jazz's Halti on, as he sulks in it, I figured it would subdue him some and prevent him from jumping on the kids in excitement when they scream with excitement at his presence. Jazz was very good. He greeted the boy happily, then laid down... and instantly pulled his Halti off with his dew claw. He proceeded to cover the boy in kisses, and he remained on the floor as the boy enjoyed his company. I took the Halti off, and put it in my pocket.
As I entered the unit, we were greeted by more excited children, who were all very well mannered with Jazz. Jazz acted as if he had been on the unit a million times. He sat with the kids, took in all of the attention, and wasn't at all distracted or overwhelmed by the activity on the unit. The girl who used to be largely nonverbal approached Jazz and began asking me questions about him. She then reached down, wrapped her arms around him, and picked him up. Just like she loved to do with Ross. Jazz, just like Ross, took it in stride and wasn't concerned at all, though the staff member who was supervising the kids became very worried and insisted she put Jazz down. I explained the history of this behavior, assured the staff that she wasn't hurting Jazz, and asked her to put him back down, which she did.
Jazz was officially initiated!