27 January 2008

If it's Sunday, it must be Test Day.

Today was going to be class day for the whole team. But it rained, so our lesson with Jim is off. But someone else still has to go to school.

Gustavo is going to be tested to see if he can become a Certified Therapy Dog.

He has to go to San Jose and take some tests and I don't know what else, and if he passes, I guess he's certified by this group called Furry Friends (and I am pretty sure these are not fetish people that put on giant furry animal costumes and do things not approved by baby Jesus, the Furry name frightens me) and we can start visiting old folks homes on the third Sunday of the month. When there's no agility trial that Sunday. With the whole thing of, you know, work, it's hard to go on a lot of the visit dates they offer. But third Sundays of the month, we can do that. Some of the time.

I'm not sure what he has to do to pass exactly.

I think it's sort of modeled in a Canine Good Citizen test, which has a lot of being well behaved walking and sitting and staying and letting others touch you, basic friendly and well behaved dog quiz. He's good at stuff like that. Pretty sure it doesn't include running like a demon for hours at a time at fast speed, which is the other thing he excels at. And tunnels. And chewing on glasses and address books. I am really sure it doesn't include that. I think I probably shouldn't tell them about that one.

Wish us luck!

He's been working on his training skilz too. Which by the way, is going smashingly, thanks for asking. We're making it easy and repeating lessons a lot and he gets it that way. He learns slowly but he learns it well. The weave poles are fast with rocking entrances with the channel still open. He has a great nose touch on a contact trainer or stairs or pretty much anywhere you throw a target out. Even though I'm not dead certain if he's going to be running or 2o/2o but we're starting with this. We're doing very little jumping or anything-especially since it rains like every 5 minutes so we haven't been going to our practice field. He's learning to run close to me, on each side. He's learning a couple cute tricks, rolling and commando raid crawl. They might sound like little things but they're important foundation things and take time, especially for Gustavo.

I'm making his training So Easy so he builds the Confidence of Kim Deal, which is a skill the other small dogs lack. They're more like her sister that once I ran into in a liquor store and I think she was trying to buy heroin. That was a long time ago. I hope you are better now Kelly Deal! We're trying to make agility like a thing that he thinks is So Easy and So Cool so he is So Confident as it starts to get harder. Like it is not like doing taxes or walking through a graveyard at night full of zombies. I'm not letting it get harder yet. He's in no hurry. It's weird to have a dog that learns so differently than my other dogs, but I can tell he's getting things now. Maybe he's just on island time.

Right now though, his agility is secondary to just having a cool little friendly dog that might be able to help some old people have an ok day when maybe the rest of their day maybe wasn't so hot.

1 comment:

Elf said...

Hope you enjoyed your therapy dog test and that it went well. I had Jake and Remington tested about 7 years ago and Jake passed but Remington "needed work on not jumping up on people" (yeah--really--) and, after I had thought that I so sincerely wanted them to pass the test, I decided to let it slide if I couldn't do it with both dogs and it was too much work to fix the problem.

I am SO lazy.