Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back in the Swing

Well, it was a successful Wednesday night in our house - we made it back to Dodd and back to agility class. One of the ladies in class told me that if was not at class last night, they were going to send a search party for me. It was really good to everyone at both places.

I was a little concerned about how last night would go when I got home - for the last three nights, Chelsie has gone APE when I have gotten home from work - extreme lab laps all over our yard and neighbor's front yard and then jumping around like a jumping bean, as if she still can't believe I actually came home. But she calmed down nicely once I put her working jacket on her...maybe after nearly 7 years she is growing up?

She got right back into the swing of things right away. We did not even make it down one end of the hall before a lady came out of a room and said "you take that dog into this room and see this old guy in here". I think we saw a lot of stroke patients last night, many of them had very, very limited mobility. One case in point was probably a lady in her 50's who was laying down...I took a chair and put it very close to her head...and I was amazed at how Chel responded. The lady found one of her favorite spots - her ear, and she put her head down and let this lady scratch her ear for a long time. I don't even think this lady knew I was there - she was just petting Chel's ear and talking to her.

I do think she was ready to shoot me at one point...there was a little 6 yr old girl that was very interested in her. She tried to pet Chelsie from above her head...which is really never a good idea anyway. I got her in a "down" (in the middle of the hall, of all places) and got her to pet Chel on the back. This little girl was loud and a little jumpy, and at one point sort of teased her and then tried to grab her tail. Mom drew the line there, and we got up and went to the next room. Her patience during this "ordeal" was pretty darn good. :) I apologized to her for making her stay as long as she did with that little girl.

I was reminded again last night how silence speaks volumes. As I said, we saw a lot of stroke patients last night and many of them appeared to be verbally impaired. One such man was an older man - I asked if he wanted to see the dog and he nodded. I took her over there and he just looked at her, I thought for a minute he was going to cry. As he rubbed her ears, he was in his own little world, just looking at her. The silence was loud and clear.

After that, it was off to agility. It was so good to get back and see my friends, and I only sucked on one sequence. "Praise the dog, slap the handler" is a common phrase we use, and I only needed to be slapped once. She did really well for not being in class for three weeks! We have a competition this weekend - hopefully, mom can lead her to her masters jumpers title. At the last trial, we got our master standard title. This jumpers title will likely be her last title before her MACH. However, her most important title is still her therapy dog title, CGC/TDI.

We hope this finds everyone well!!

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