The O-dog did it. Under the masterful tutelage of Mrs. Dynamite, who taught Oscar to heel using two serving spoons taped together and coated with frozen peanut butter, Oscar passed his therapy dog test, and is now an official Delta Society Pet Partner. Now, he can go to nursing homes and hospitals and make people happy.
Mrs. Dynamite has been working with Oscar on this for several months - we've been driving all the way uptown every Saturday morning for two months, with the goal of Oscar becoming comfortable enough to pass the test: he can do the test items no problem, but when he's in the testing room, he gets antsy, and, without the benefit of food rewards, sometimes just wanders off to smell all the dog smells in the room. He's also a little skittish around medical equipment (walkers, wheelchairs).
On Sunday, however, despite the attempts of the testing evaluators to tilt us by running 30 minutes late, we had time to settle down with Oscar in a side room and do some treat-reward training with him before the test, so that when he walked in for the actual test, he heeled like a true pro, looking up at Mrs. Dynamite the whole time, waiting for the treat that wouldn't come until later.
The funny thing is, that while I've repeatedly stated that I might want to pursue a career in dog training, it's Mrs. Dynamite who's really done all the work with Oscar! I taught him to shake, but that's about it. She used the same powers of persuasion which get ME to obey, and taught Oscar a variety of tricks and commands which he happily shows off.
Unfortunately, Oscar had to get his haircut today, and the groomer really took my boy to the FELT! He's shaved completely, and FURIOUS about it. Oscar wouldn't even come over to greet me when I walked in today - instead simply glowering at me from his bed in the kitchen. The only time that's ever happened before is when he was sick. Man - the little dude hold's a friggin' GRUDGE! Mrs. Dynamite was pleased that at least he wasn't just pissed at her, as she was the one who actually took him to the groomer. This is an old picture, but he's giving me and the Mrs. the same angry scowl today.
Later in the week I'll publish my Vegas trip report, which includes:
- Mirage PaiGow Marty Up debacle
- annihilating random low limit poker games (Mirage 1-5 Stud, Venetian 4-8 limit hold'em)
- Wynn Peach Chip cold decks
- National Heads Up Poker Championships
- Mirage and Venetian 2-5NL dominance
- Foiling the mirrored ceiling pit boss heat at the New Frontier double deck blackjack game
until next time,