Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just doggin around

Mark has been honing his camera skills and Winston always makes a great subject! 
I smell a ducky treat. 

Maybe if I look cute you will feed me! 

I'd rather be over there!

I'm geting tired of waiting for my treat!!

If only I had thumbs I could get my own treat! 
 We also have some great pics of Winston posing with us for his Pet Partners therpay dog badges.  Winston will soon be seen visiting some local health care facilities. We are also very excited that AKC has released a new title for Therapy Dogs (THD) starting June 27, 2011. Another goal to work towards with Winston.
Dapper Boys

Posing with mom

It's official!! We all have our badges now!


Although we have been quite on the blog this month, Winston has had a busy spring! He continues to have tracking training. It is so hot now that we are going out less and earlier.

Winston is also still training in obedience with a goal of a Beginner Novice title. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco De Mayo!

Fiesta time, where is my margarita?

Don't I look cute in my sombrero?!

Ole! Ole!!

It's about time for my siesta!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Milestone!

For the last few weeks, I have been attending some classes for therapy dog training with Winston.  Winston has primarily been Mark's dog but during tax season, I have been working with Winston in Rally and Obedience training, too. One of the most difficult exercises for Winston and I is  "recall." I know it sounds simple, you sit your dog, then you call them to you, right? Obedience 101! But for Winston and I it was not that easy!

At one class, I put Winston in a stay, walked to the other end of the room and while standing upright (like I was taught for obedience rings) I promptly called "Winston, come!"  Winston looked at me and hesitated. He finally got up and then stopped halfway to me to examine the floor for treats.  He looked back at me with a look like "are you talking to me???! Who are you, anyway???!!"

So, obviously we needed some more practice! I even had treats and at the therapy dog testing I would be flying solo, sans treats!!

So, we practiced and practiced and practiced some more! Our trainer at Cherrypoint Dog Training, gave me some tips: "bend down and be more inviting when you call him" "try a special new treat just for recall" and "use a higher pitched voice to make it more interesting for him."  So, I incorporated the tips and practiced some more and then practiced some more.

Winston, Mark and I then had a GO LIVE practice 2 nights this past week where we went on mentored visits with our trainer to a health care facility to see how Winston( and us) would do in the real world.  Winston did OK--he enjoyed the adventure and really enjoyed one of the ladies he meet. Winston did discover that he still hates elevators though---more work will be needed to slay that dragon.

Then the fateful day arrived where Winston would be "tested" with both Mark and I to see if he had the moxie to be a therapy dog.  I was nervous. What if Winston was too excited to complete the exercises? What if he would not come to me? What if....?????

We arrived at our new location for the test and took a stroll. Winston was alert and eager but not crazy. Time for the test!!!

I took the leash and begged Winston to "watch me" even though I felt naked with no treats! Like Wonder Woman without her lasso and tiara!

The test began and the first few items seemed easy peasy. I was getting more confident and less nervous.
Winston was engaged with me and watching me pretty well! The dreaded "stay and recall" came.  A nice volunteer approached Winston from behind while he was in a "stay" to scratch Winston and distract him. The moment of truth had arrived and I was unarmed!! I took a deep breath, crouched to my knees and used my highest "high talker voice"  exclaiming "Winston, come!" and he did! He ran right to me and licked my face!!! GOOD DOG!  I was shocked but relieved!

So, Winston and I completed all the exercises and we passed! YAY!

Winston was required to rest between testings for both Mark and I, so we took a stroll and then came back for round two!

Mark and Winston had no trouble passing the exercises. Winston was much more subdued and tired this go around though.

So, Winston completed the testing with both of us as handlers! Now, we send of our ream off paper work and wait for our badges.  Then we can start visiting.

Winston and Mark posed with our trainer and evaluator after passing the tests!

I bought Winston some new collars to add a little pizazz to his wardrobe since he has so many outings on his schedule. Mark took a few snaps of Winston in his new digs.
This blue one is a little harder to see but it is cute on him! 

I love this orange one! 

Looks like he is ready for the CPA office!

I ordered these collars from from the shop: upcycle. They are made from old dress shirts.