Monday, July 14, 2008
Yay! We did it!
Good news to share! Dad and I passed the Dr. Dog test! Congratulations to all my practice session friends who passed too! Thanks so much to Pudding's Mom (烤焦布丁) for informing us about this wonderful news last night. I am certainly looking forward to our celebration next week.
Here's a rundown of what happened yesterday:
Mom and I woke up early and we went for our morning walk. After that, she cooked some lamb for me to bring along to school.
Mom decided not to go to school with us because she was afraid that she might unknowingly distract me during the test, so it was just Dad and I.
Here's a photo of us getting ready to leave. A big thumbs up from Dad!
Mom does not kiss me often because she is sensitive to my fur, but she did give me a good luck kiss yesterday before we left. :D
Since Mom didn't go with us, she couldn't wait to hear all the details and Dad patiently narrated the whole process to her.
It was super hot when we arrived and I was practically dripping all over. First, I tried to calm Dino down by letting him sniff around and pee. I gave him some water, but he didn't want any, so I drank some instead.
We first saw A2 Mom and Belle's parents, they have just completed the test and were chatting outside the classroom. There were others too, but most of them were there to renew their Dr. Dog license. There were about 14 new students and probably another 20 renewals taking the test today.
I could feel my heart popping out as we were nearing our time slot. We stayed in the shade and I tried to get Dino to stay focused on me, that's when the sliced lamb came in useful. Then he drank some water.
Then, it was time to enter the classroom, there were about eight people in the room, some standing and some sitting. The tester said to let Dino get familiar with the environment and I brought him around to let him sniff and explore. My heart was already beating like crazy at this point, I was really nervous.
After we walked one round, the tester asked if we were ready and then we started the test with a short self introduction.
There were treats and toys on the floor and they marked three crosses on the floor, we are supposed to heel around the room and stop at each of the crosses before we continued walking. Dino ignored the temptations on the floor and so that was not a problem. The "Off" and "Drop" segment went by smoothly too. Then it was the "Touch and Hug" segment, Dino sat still as he was touched everywhere, on his head, under his mouth and Belly, but when it comes to getting hugged, he was great for the first 3 seconds and after that he tried to wriggle his way out.
This was followed by the wheelchair segment, we had to squeeze ourselves into a tight corner to sit near the wheelchair and the lady on it combed Dino's hair from the head to the back and from the chin down to his chest. Then someone came up, said sorry and lifted his lips! All this while, Dino sat patiently throughout. What a good boy!
Next, I had to make Dino stay at one end of the room and then go to the opposite end. Without warning, they started to throw balls around and I continued to praise Dino to make him stay. When it was time to release, I gave the command "Come" and Dino pranced towards me, but I could see that he was looking at the treats on the floor from the corner of his eyes. Phew!
Next was greeting a person and her dog. Dino had no problems obeying my down command when I chatted with the person. Then we walked away from one another.
Then, I had to bring Dino across the room to chat with another person and other people crossed our paths with crutches and umbrellas. Next, I had to stand 2 steps away from Dino with him on the leash and then make him go on a Down Stay. Suddenly, four people surrounded him and started to pet him all over. I must have shivering because our instructor, Small Pudding's (小布丁) Mom was there too and told me to try not to be so nervous, but seriously, I could feel my legs shaking non-stop.
Finally, someone took over the leash and I had to leave the room without Dino for about 30 seconds and that was the end of the test. I was not allowed to give Dino any treats during the test, but I did give him some of that lamb after that for a job well done.
Overall, Dino did great and I am very proud of him, but I think I was a nervous wreck, so I hope they don't deduct too many points for that.
Words of thanks from Mom:
The full report card will be out in the next couple of days and we will then have a better idea about how Dino's Dad and Dino performed, but at this point, I must say I am very happy for my two boys, you two have made me very proud!
We have all come a long way since March to this day and it would have not been possible without the following people:
Special thanks to our instructors, Lucamami and Small Pudding's 小布丁 Mom for both your guidance and support during the entire course.
I would also like to say a big thank you to Pudding's Mom (烤焦布丁) for organizing the several practice sessions where we could familiarize ourselves with the test procedures, learn from one another and enhance our socialization skills. It is really no surprise that all of us made it through.
Also, thanks to my overseas friends at The Gold Post who have accompanied us since Day One. We also listened to your advice and Dino's Dad started talking to Dino everyday for the entire week leading to test day telling him his expectations of him and saying that they could do it together. Thanks for the tips and for being there for us!
And to everyone who has sent their good thoughts and lucky vibes, thank you very much!
We still have to undergo the strict health screening, therapy dog handler workshops and hands-on practical training before we can be certified as Dr. Dog team volunteers, but at least we are now one big step closer to our dream.