In the spirit of the new year, I have yet another confession. I like to write until I make myself laugh. I guess that makes me the arbiter of my own humor which is probably not a good thing. And while I’m over sharing, I admit that I prefer it when the Doods take over the blog. I told the daughters that I felt as if I were channeling them. If you recall, when these same daughters were children, I told them that our dogs talked to me. Good thing a friend told my grandchildren that I was not crazy, just unconventional. Maybe that should be my epitaph. “She was unconventional.”
Back to the main topic of the day…Gus, my newly minted therapy dog and the second youngest dog volunteering at UCLA. Oops I’m bragging again. Coincidentally, Gus passed his Pet Partners evaluation with a perfect score on the same morning that my grandson was born. I am well aware that I should not put these two events in the same sentence, probably not even in the same post, but I got the call as I was stuck in L.A. traffic on the way to testing.
Since I have never completely overcome my childhood as a nerdy, over achiever, any kind of testing is stressful for me. When I had to renew my drivers license, I read the book six times and took notes. Even though Charley and Elbee have tested every two years and I knew exactly what to expect, I was still nervous going in with Gus.
CHARLEY He was lucky she didn’t make him pull an all-nighter like the first time with me.
The evaluation is part obedience and part aptitude, mine and the dogs! To make matters worse, the handler (that would be me) and the dog are scored separately. Theoretically, Gus could outscore me or even worse, pass the test when I failed. These are both secrets I would carry to my grave and would definitely not share with the daughters. In my next post, I will tell you what a field day they had the very first time I was getting ready to test Charley.
Let me just say that Gus breezed through the evaluation. He was 25 pounds of sweetness and confidence and made me look good. It’s amazing how well it reflects on you if your dog is well behaved, kind of like with your children. That reminds me. When one of my daughters was a teenager, she offered me a deal. She could behave at home and make my life peaceful or behave out in the world so that other people would think I was doing a good job of parenting, but there was no way she could do both. I’m not naming names but it was the lawyer.
GUS Do you see that picture? That’s exactly how I felt after the Pet Partner’s evaluation. The test was no problem but calming you-know-who down was exhausting. My big brothers warned me. I should have listened. Thank goodness I don’t have to do it again for two years!