Bunny here at the keyboard writing about my weekend trials and tribulations.
Saturday was the hottest day of the year here so far in our corner of the world, so I was not terribly disappointed to see Mom and Dad go off to training with Küster early in the morning. I am not a fan of hot weather and staying at home in bed with the cold air blowing suited me just fine. We didn’t even take our evening walk until about 10:30 that night. I figured that it was going to be a very lazy evening.
Sunday morning confirmed my belief that the weekend was going to be laid back and restful. I began pondering what I would have to tell everyone about in my blog post. Mom and I did a little test training practice, we took a few pictures and life was pretty much calm and laid back.
I did think it was a little odd that I got the full beauty treatment as part of our slow morning, but it was nice to be fussed over. I had my nails done, my teeth brushed and a spritz of White Dalmations. Nobody else was getting special treatment, so I just soaked it all in as my due as the chief princess in residence.
Then, after turn out and dinner, Mom took me out to the car by myself.
A few of my things were packed, and I saw that the camera was in the back seat. It’s not unusual for us to go out for a Sunday afternoon photo session, so I relaxed on my bed and waited for the modeling session to start. However, that wasn’t what happened.
I suppose I should have paid closer attention to the fact that Mom spent so much time getting ready for us to go. I also should have taken closer note of the fact that she looked a little green around the gills. However, sometimes you just notice things in hindsight.
It turns out, we were on our way to take the therapy dog test.
I wasn’t too worried about it. I mean, I graduated at the top of my obedience class and I’ve been visiting humans in the nursing home and at hospice for most of my life. This test was just a formality. However, it meant a lot to my human, so I wanted to make her happy. Mom says that she isn’t good at test taking, but I was determined to help her though it.
There were nine dogs set to take the test, and it was about two hours’ drive from our house. They said that those of us who had to travel would get to take the test first. I’m not sure if that made Mom feel better or not, but it did give her less time to stress about it, which I take as a good thing.
We went in and got all checked in for our test. I had my paperwork in order and the money we needed to pay to take the test. I had a good collar on, my nails painted and a six foot leather leash. Mom had on a pair of lucky shoes and her lucky unicorn bracelet. As far as I was concerned, we were all ready to take the test.
We were in the first group who got to take the test, since we lived farther away.
I could feel Mom’s tension on the end of the leash. She was worried that we might have trouble on the sit/stay, the leave it command (when a person offers you food right under your nose) and that I might be too friendly with another dog when we had to greet someone with their dog. At the start, before the test started, the evaluator spent some time talking to all of the people who were taking the test. I think Mom was wanting the test to just get started already. I did my best to ignore her, because I thought it would make her less nervous, but it turned out that just made her more uptight.
Anyroo, soon, it was time for us to go and get in our chair in the waiting line for the test elements. The first one was that you have to stand by the check in table and let the evaluator inspect your ears, coat, feet and tail. When she went to pick up my foot, she told everyone there that I had pink toenails. I liked her right off the bat. Things were pretty easy during the first parts of the test. We got to the sit/stay and down/stay part of the test, and Mom took in a shaky breath. I admit, there are a few occasions when I decide I don’t want to sit if there’s no treat to be had. However, I did sit and stay and I looked darned cute doing it. The down/stay was a piece of cake.
After that, I had to do a heeling pattern on a loose leash and walk through a group of people who had different medical equipment, including a bucket that they dropped on the floor and a person running through yelling. I thought she was a little odd, but I certainly didn’t loose my cool. I let everyone who wanted to pet me have a turn and then I pranced back to our seat when it was over.
The other elements went by pretty easy and then we got to the “leave it” part.
Mom wasn’t worried about us walking past the food on the floor, but a person offering a fresh Milkbone to me is another level of difficult. I admit, I did sniff it, but Mom said I couldn’t have it, so I left it alone. The evaluator made me do it twice to be sure I could really do it, and I did. It was tough, but I ignored it.
Finally, our last tough trial was going to be greeting someone with another dog. Mom got me ready beside her and we walked up to meet them. I didn’t even look at the other dog. I think Mom was in a bit of shock. Honestly, I thought I might have to lean on her to keep her standing up, but she kept going through her shock and surprise.
There were a couple of things we had to do after that, but it was super easy stuff and I had no trouble with any of it. The evaluator complimented all of us after the test and said she’d never had a nicer group of dogs take the test. She said normally 1/3 of the dogs don’t pass, but all five of us in my group did great. I admit that I was a proud and happy hound.
Dad was supposed to take pictures during the test, but he forgot. He said that as soon as the evaluator saw my pink toenails, he knew that we nailed it. I think my human is still in shock that we really passed. I know she was really worried about it, but I carried her through, because that’s what a team is for. It’s true that when we visit, I’m the one who gets all the attention, but the truth is, Mom is an important part of things, too. She helps me know who to say hello to and who to leave alone, and she scouts things out for possible dangers so that I can do my job of greeting the crowd. We celebrated with a stop at the Golden Arches Supper Club where Mom got a Mocha Frappe and I got an order of French fries. Life is good and I am proud that we are now an official therapy team!