At the end of the second day of the Delta Society Pet Partners Team Training Course, we received our certificates. But that certainly doesn’t mean we’re ready to start visiting with our animal partners. A whole slew of paperwork must be filled out, Bear has to be declared healthy by his vet, his shot record must be documented, and – most important – Bear must pass his part of the test. We have until Sunday, November 28, to practice with each other, and frankly I am a little concerned. Several of the “tests” require your animal to do behaviors that are not going to come naturally for Bear – like ignoring other dogs and ignoring toys tossed on the floor. Then there is the “walking through a crowd of people using walkers, with two other people having a very loud argument nearby” test. I have no idea how he will react to any of those three requirements, so all I can do is simulate those behaviors as closely as possible and practice them a lot.
I think he will be fine with the basic obedience part, if I can just keep him from doing his favorite “let me grab you by the arm and carry you off somewhere” trick. He doesn’t “bite” your arm, just grabs your sleeve and tugs. I have nightmares of him hauling some little old lady out of her wheelchair with that move. I don’t think we would last long in the program if he did that.
Bear and I will be working together for the next three weeks to make sure we are both ready for his evaluation. The team will be graded not only by how Bear obeys and reacts in certain situations, but also on how the two of us communicate with each other. Both “partners” must pass – individually and as a team.
Demolition – Day 1
When I got home from Albany on Sunday afternoon, Ted had already cleaned out the den except for the couch and our two Lazy-Boys. All three bedrooms were filled with “stuff” from the den . . .
I’ll be back on Friday with an update on the house improvements and anything else that comes along that you might be interested in. Have a great rest of the week, and I’ll see you back here on Friday morning!