I'm now a graduate multiple times of classes at my school. At my graduation last week I asked the teacher about what I should do next, and I learned all about two career paths that are available to me. I think I'd be a terrific competitor in Agility - you saw me in my last post on part of an agility course, the a-frame, and I'm also already an expert jumper over the low poles that are on another part of the course.
|Almost too fast for the camera when I jump!|
I also think I'd be great at going into hospitals and cheering up the kids there who don't always get much time to play with their friends.
That's where you come in.
My school offers a Therapy Dog class, to help puppies get ready for a big test - The Canine Good Citizen Exam. It sounds hard, doesn't it? I'm pretty sure it's super hard, and my momma went to see the Therapy Dog class on Thursday to see what it would take for me to get good at the test. I'm going to need some serious help studying if I want to pass the test and meet all of my future friends as a certified puppy volunteer.
|I look good as a graduate, right? |
My Canine Good Citizen certificate will look even better than this most recent diploma.
In Therapy Dog class, and for the test, I'm going to have to sit still and quiet while a stranger shakes hands with my momma, touches my ears and paws, brushes me, and walks away. I'm also going to have to walk through a crowd but ignore all the strangers around me, approach a person in a wheelchair without jumping into their lap, and stay totally under control on my leash during the whole time that I'm at school on exam day. Without any treats.
That may not sound that hard to you, but to me it sounds crazy. When I hear "stranger," I think, "future friend." I might be happy to sit still and quiet by my momma, but as soon as a "future friend" comes over, I can hardly keep my little butt on the floor because my tail is wiggling so fast that I think I might turn inside out. I'm just so happy to see everybody! And, when I get frustrated because my momma won't let me go up to a "future friend," I yell out to my friend, "Come over to me!" I jump and bark, and when they get to me, I want to put their hand in my mouth so that I can taste and smell them all over. It makes perfect sense to me; why wouldn't it be allowed at the test?
I'm just starting to get old enough to understand that being a Therapy Dog is all about what somebody else wants, not about what I want. Even if I want to jump up and see one of my future friends in his hospital bed, and even if I want to lick his face all over, he might be scared of my big strong teeth, or worried that I'm too fast and could accidentally hurt him. To be a real Therapy Dog, I have to be sweet about it, and make him love me in some other way, like by doing tricks or letting him pet me softly on my back, instead of insisting that face licks are the best thing for him.
|Ready to love!|
I'll be old enough for Therapy Dog class in about 1 year, and I want to practice hard until class starts so that I'm ready to become a Canine Good Citizen on my first try.
Will you help me study? Will you let my momma give you some treats, so that you can give me commands to practice? Will you promise never to pet me if I am jumping, so that I learn to get positive attention only when I lay still and quiet? And, most of all, will you be patient with me? I'm just a little doggy, and I love you SO MUCH.. I just don't always know how to show my love properly, so I'm going to need you to give me time and training until I'm successful enough to pass my exam.
I'll work hard for you, future friends! I can't wait to visit you!