Breaking News! Rob passed the TDI therapy dog test and the AKC Canine Good Citizen test today. I am so proud of him! The evaluator did a teeth and toes check and a quick brushing just to prove he was manageable. Then Rob had people in wheelchairs, on walkers, and crutches petting him on his head and talking loudly while a kid ran laps around us. He had an umbrella opened in his face and bowls clanged over his head and I had to leave him and go out of sight for three minutes. He was a trouper and did great. Moreover, this all has to be done with no treats and no corrections.
Usually, being left with a stranger is the hardest part for a dog but I’ve given Rob lots of practice at short separations and he got lucky and got a teenage girl to flirt with while I was gone. The only part that was hard for him was walking past the three giant milkbones on the floor. He walked by and didn’t touch them but he didn’t want anyone else having a chance at them either and actually growled really low when the next dog was called out, but no one else heard him. I have never worked on that with him because it has never come up before.
Click to check out the Therapy Dogs International website. The Tail Waggin Tutors (children reading to dogs) is what I’d like to focus on. Maybe the new library will want to get a program started. If you are in need of a good cry, read the stories on the DSR (Disaster Stress Relief) page.
Click to check out the Canine Good Citizen program webpage.
Addendum: I didn’t realize it until after I posted, but we actually brought Robert home as a six month old on June 6th of ’07. Today is our second anniversary.