Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Thumping Tail Test

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So, I've been going back and forth and back and forth on whether I want to tell you this next bit of news or not. It's not a HUGE big deal I guess, but it involves taking a test. A TEST! Ack! It involves ACTUALLY BEING TESTED, which means I could potentially FAIL this test, which means I am telling you about this being tested thing before I have gone and ACED said test, which means I could totally be setting myself up to look like a great big loser! Omigodcanshehackit?!!!

My A-type personality side is freaking out a little bit here. Okay, here goes:

In a week and a half Kayloo and I are taking the Therapy Dog certification test so she can wear a fancy little kerchief and share her happy thumping tail with anyone who will take her (this test is for extended care facilities). A week and a half. 12 days to be exact. 12 DAYS, PEOPLE!!!

Ho. Lee. Crap.

12 days from now some people are going to be telling me to do stuff and I'm going to be telling Kayloo to do stuff, and if she doesn't do it I WILL HAVE FAILED IN MY DUTY AS A THERAPY DOG TRAINER HANDLER PERSON.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Let's take a couple steps back before I give myself a hernia. First, why do I want to get my crazy pooch certified as a therapy dog? There are three main reasons:

I think she would be suited to it: She is an incredibly loving little mutt. When you hug her she is happy to stand there while you smother her, and she'll stay put for however long you need. Even if it's a ridiculously long time. If you're near her but not quite close enough to touch, she'll slither and nudge and scooch on over until she cozying up to you someway or another, maybe with her soft little muzzle or her entire gigantic black and white cow head.

It would be good for her: I think dogs are happiest when they have a job to do and I think Kayloo would do GREAT employed as a soft and slobbery love monkey. She would get a bunch of additional training and she would get a HUGE mental work out wtih all the meeting and sniffing and patting from dozens of new people.

Getting out into the community: We all know dogs are a huge stress reliever and I would love to be able to share Kayloo's goofy wonderfulness with others. The fact that she is a pitbull cross and a rescue dog is an important consideration for me also as I think it is important to show people how wonderful and non-scary pitbulls and rescue dogs can be.

Did I mention it's in 12 days?!

They won't tell you everything she will be tested on (I have no idea why, like you're going to cheat or something? Can dogs cheat? NO THEY CAN'T), but as far as I can tell she is going to have to be able to do everything required on the AKC's Canine Good Citizen test.

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll stress more in the coming days. Have to do a bit of training with Miss Thang (GET OVER HERE SOLDIER, DROP AND GIVE ME 20!!!). And then we're going to snuggle because it is very important she gets that part right.

If you liked this post and you would like to share it, that would be super! Thank you so much!

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  1. Good luck. You'll do fine.

    I was looking through the various therapy dog organizations' requirements and came across this, which kind of blindsided me.

    Therapeutic Paws of Canada (TPOC) does not allow pit bull type dogs to be therapy dogs with their organization ANYWHERE IN CANADA, even if the particular province that the dog is in doesn't have breed-specific legislation.

    It appears that their insurance company freaked out over the Ontario pit bull ban, so TPOC rolled over instead of finding another insurance company.

    So in a province (BC) where, legally, my dog is allowed to do anything and go anywhere that any other type of dog can, she can't be a therapy dog with TPOC even if she were to pass all the tests! Incidentally, she already has passed similar tests three times. (See the Bill 132 statement on that page).

  2. I think Kayloo better have some smelling salts on hand as she'll probably need to use them on you before this is over.

  3. I am sure you guys will do great!

  4. Oh good luck! I bet it's similar to Canine Good Citizen....just practice doing those things. The only thing is keep things normal. I tried to do all these crazy things before Miss M.'s first CCG test. They don't let you have treats in there, so I thought it would be a good idea to rub salami all over my hands--yes, gross--and let her lick it as a treat. Instead, it drove her insane. She was so angry she couldn't actually get the treats that she started tugging and playing with her leash during the test! So the failure was really my fault for not trusting we could do as prepared. We did get a chance to take it again so Miss M is officially CGC and the first test never marked against her.

  5. Thanks for the well wishes, guys!

    @Steve- Glad we aren't going through TPOC! Although, I suppose I don't know for sure if Kayloo is a pittie. Brutal- sounds like your dogs are awesome pups though :)

    @Schwang- Salami on your hands, that is hilarious! I'd be lying if I didn't admit to thinking of that trick too. Congrats to Miss M!

  6. Good luck with the test, but you guys should do just fine!

  7. Can't wait to hear how it goes! I want to get my Dottie certified too someday. She doesn't have all that many gifts, but she's wicked good with children and not scared of a single man, woman, nor beast. That's got to be something we can put to good use, right? :D GOOD LUCK!