Our First Therapy Dog Visit

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Hello, hello!

Yesterday, Murphy and I had our very first Therapy Dog visit and it went really well! Murphy was a natural. I’ll tell ya all about it right after I recap lunch.


Lunch was a turkey burger (cut up) with sautéed mushrooms, peas, and chopped spinach with a big scoop of basil avocado. Remember when I had that delicious basil avocado on my tuna burger at Rustic Kitchen the other day? Well, I loved it so much, I had to try recreating it at home.

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My attempt was good, but not quite what I tasted at Rustic Kitchen””something’s definitely missing. My basil avocado puree needed more… salt? I dunno. Here are the rough estimates of the ingredients that I used:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • a bunch of basil (8-10 leafs)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

I definitely liked my basil avocado puree, but I think it can still be improved. I bought two avocado and have some leftover basil, so I’m going to attempt to make it again. I’ll report back!

After lunch, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a Medjool date. Again, I wish dates looked as pretty as they tasted.

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After lunch, it was time to take Murphy for his very first visit. To prepare, I”¦

  • Doubled-check that I had his business cards and medical records (to prove that he’s on the straight and narrow)
  • Cleaned the eye boogers off his face
  • Packed a plastic baggie full of treats (Murphy listens really well when food is involved)
  • Swapped Murphy’s regular leash for his special 4-foot leash

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And then it was time for a ride in the car to go visit!

Pug Therapy Visit

There’s a senior home pretty close to where we live, so I’ve been in contact with the Activities Coordinator about visiting once a week with Murphy. She loved the idea, so we met yesterday and took Murphy around the facility for a trial run to see how he would act in this type of setting. Like I said, the pug was a natural, and he did such an awesome job! Seriously, I sort of think he was meant to do this. Everyone loved him (obviously, he’s wicked cute), but pretty much every person we approached to make a visit, he happily walked right up to their feet or let me pick him up so they could pet him for as long as they wanted. Murphy is kind of a spastic dog at times, but he was semi-mellow around the old folks. I’d never say “mellow” because he’s just not that type of dog when new people are around, but he was definitely on good behavior during our visit.

Everyone we met (residents, staff, and visitors) was so excited to see Murphy. People’s faces literally lit up when they saw us walking toward them. It made me so happy to see Murphy bringing so much joy to someone’s day.

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After about 35-40 minutes, I could tell Murphy was starting to get tired (he wasn’t as focused as when we first arrived), so we said goodbye and headed home for the day. Visiting is a hard work for a little pug!

Of course, when we got home, Murphy was rewarded appropriately for his hard work. He got two treats yesterday!

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As an afternoon snack, I ate a sliced banana with sunflower butter.

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For dinner, Mal grilled up some flatiron steak, which I topped with sautéed mushrooms and crumbled feta. On the side, I had some steamed green beans and Sweet Potato Wedges. It was a fabulous dinner!


After dinner, I enjoyed a Brownie in a Mug because it’s the best dessert ever. My friend Kerrie really is a genius.

Question of the Day

When Murphy and I were visiting yesterday, we met an elderly gentleman, who was hard of hearing. He asked me Murphy’s name, and I replied, but he thought I said “Murky” instead of “Murphy.” I tried to correct him, but then he told me how much he liked the name “Murky” for a dog, so I just left it alone. It is sort of a cute name, right?

Has anyone ever mixed up your name?

Over the years, I’ve had people call me “Gina” and “Trina.” Mal gets “Mel” and “Matt” all the time.

P.S. My favorite camera is on sale! Well, ok, the newer model of it is on sale. I have no idea why it’s so cheap all of a sudden, but I bought one yesterday. Best.camera.ever.



  1. My last name is “Cowan” like “Cow-an” but people call me Cohen like “Co-when”. Which is weird because my maiden name was crazy and I thought for sure when I got married this name would be easier for people. No such luck. But I don’t even correct people anymore. It’s just not worth it.

  2. I’m a Suzanne and I get “Susan” a lot…sometimes I’ll correct them other times it’s just not worth it 🙂

  3. Yes! In middle school, the vice principal called me Jeanette (combining my first and last names somehow). I couldn’t work up the courage to correct him for TWO YEARS, and I worked on several committees with him and was constantly called Jeanette. I learned my lesson and try to correct people immediately now!

  4. In high school my friend and I won back stage passes and front row tickets to see Kelly Clarkson. At the meet’n’greet she thought my name was “Sampa” not Samantha. I corrected her and she laughed. So sweet, love her! But any way I am CONSTANTLY mistaken for Amanda when I introduce myself. Samantha-Amanda does that sound alike? Not to me. Ha!

  5. I had to skip past the lunch to get to Murphys therapy visit. Murphy is beautiful, I smiled the whole way through reading. The elderly would of loved it, I used to sneak my Labrador up to the retirement village as my nan loved it. My neighbour is a special needs teacher, she often takes their lab to the school to be with the children.
    Animals are so therapeutic in so many different ways. I look forward to hearing about Murphys future ventures..Good work to you both, very inspiring.
    BTW, I went back to read about lunch 🙂

  6. go Murphy!! I am so happy that he did such a great job…people do always love seeing a cute dog.

    I am blessed to have just recently changed my last name to Lyon (sole reason I picked my husband…lol) which will never get miss pronounced. I was a Meppen which I bet someone reading this is thinking is it Me-ppen…nope soft e for both…but no more!!

  7. One of my dog’s names is Cruise and when introducing him to a new neighbor they thought I said Bruce so now they call him that everytime they see him! haha I should have corrected it in the beginning but I feel it’s too late now. Good for you and “Murky” visiting the elderly. That is an awesome thing!! 🙂

  8. When I was little, I used to introduce myself to new friends by saying “My name is Rohan, like you’re rowin’ a boat.” It’s a family name which is all well and good, but I always tell people not to give their child the name, it’s too much work! I get mail addressed to Mr. Rohan. I immediately tear it up, since they obviously don’t know me well enough to know my gender!
    And Murphy is absolutely adorable!

  9. I’m Tiffany, but I get Stephanie all the time. My son is Kelvin, but he gets Kevin every time we go to a doctors appointment. People’s mouths work faster than their brain/eyeballs often.

  10. I didn’t read all the comments, so I’m not sure if someone suggested this already, but what about adding in some olive oil to your basil avocado puree? Maybe that’s the missing ingredient? It would add good flavor and a smoothness to the puree.

    Also, I’m thinking about joining our local YMCA so I can use the pool for water jogging and some spin or zumba classes. If you do the water jogging, let us know. It’s always nice to hear new workout ideas since I’m nursing a stress fracture in my foot from strictly running all the time. It sucks being injured.

  11. My last name is Getzelman, people always say Gettleman. I don’t understand, they’re forgetting the Z, pretty unique letter hahaha Murky!! love it.

  12. I get called Sharon allll the time – doesn’t bother me. But once I had a client always referring to me that way in email! I mean there it is, black and white ShaNNon haha – so I finally said, by the way it’s Shannon, not Sharon – he was polite about it I just couldn’t let that keep happening LOL

  13. OMG, that was awesome!!! I could never bring my pug to an old age home. if you’re not equally engaged in her tennis ball as she is, she doesn’t want to know you exist.

    ….and she’d probably poop on the floor.

  14. My name is Bobbie and it’s not a nick name. I will get mail addressed to Barbara or sometimes a phone call where they ask for Barbara. It’s kind of annoying. I know that Bobbie is sometimes short for Barbara but that’s a big assumption to make considering I’ve never filled out a form as Barbara or listed my name as that anywhere. I also get a lot of people who will say, “I need your full name not a nick name” when I give them Bobbie. Then I have to explain that it’s not a nick name and so on….

  15. Aww…love that Murphy is a therapy dog. Nothing like sharing the love to those in need. As for names, I’m Roz, but I get Rose, Rosa, and Ross fairly regularly. (though if you see me, I’m not Ross-like at all. I have boobs) My full name is Rosalind, and my in laws called me Jocelyn for the first 6 months I was dating my husband. Thankfully, after the 800th time my husband corrected them, they got it. 🙂

  16. I’m Annette and I’ve been called everything that rhymes with my name or ends in “ette”. Depending on the situation, I think it would be more embarrasing for the person who screwed up my name, so I usually don’t correct them 🙂 That little man that called Murphy “Murky” reminds me of my dad. My dogs BFF is named “Conlan” and my dad always calls him “Conner” or “Conroy”…it gives me a little tickle so I dont even bother correcting him anymore…lol

  17. Aww, I’m so glad that Murphy’s visit went well! 🙂

    I’ve definitely had people say my name wrong. I’ve mostly gotten Aleesa & Alicia. And let’s not even talk about my last name haha. It’s Italian, but I don’t think it’s that hard to pronounce. Unfortunately, most other people disagree lol.

  18. People always call me chelsea. My last name is a first name for a guy so I get called that by mistake ALL the time and people some how think I am a man in business email because of that.

  19. For some reason, people think my name (Mallory) is very bizarre. I work for a UK based company and they always think my name is Natalie, Valerie and I’ve gotten MARVIN a few times!!

  20. I love that Murphy is a therapy dog! I only wish that Tinkerbelle could be one too. She’s a sweetheart but a ‘hugger.’ She literally puts her paws around your waist or arms and hugs you when she’s happy, which I love but it wouldn’t work well outside my home!

    xx Kait

  21. That is such a great idea! I love seeing therapy dogs when I visit nursing homes; it really makes a difference in everyon’s day. Growing up with a name like Chiara (pronounced “key-ah-rah”, it’s Italian for “Claire”), I got every mispronunciation in the book from chair, to pronouncing it phonetically, to Cher, to Chiana, to Sharon.

  22. I love that you did that. What joy you and Murphy are bringing!

    People usually hear my name okay, but my husband’s name is Troy and people hear “George” a lot. (Really??). My favorite story about that was when my friend, Roxanne, ordered airline tickets over the phone (in the dark ages- pre- online purchasing). Her ticket came in the mail with her name in them: “RockSand”. Bless.

  23. Thanks for the camera advise/info. I’ve been on the lookout, but it’s hard to trust this type of product without seeing the photos from real people.

  24. I worked at a retirement community for 2 years and my residents LOVED it when animals visited. We had a group of greyhounds that would come, and then we had alpacas too! So interesting how animals can really perk up older people. 🙂

  25. Oh yay for him! In high school we always put on a petting zoo as part of FFA week and one year, we went up to one of the nursing homes near the school. It was so much fun 🙂 Glad he had a great first outing!

  26. My name is pronounced keer-sten, but I constantly get called Kristin or kursten. It used to bother me when I was younger and too shy to correct anyone but it doesn’t anymore

  27. I love that Murphy is a therapy dog! I just arranged for one to visit my classroom through DOG B.O.N.E.S and things are going great so far! Best of luck! 🙂

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