Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A veteran, a STAR Puppy and the one in between

This post is about what happened on November 8, 2009. This post does violate Sarah's "compulsion of order," but it was an eventful day, so I wanted to post it.

The Veteran
Our day started with the White River Golden Retriever Club's annual Veteran's Day. This is a day where we honor our veteran dogs (those over 8 years of age). I was so happy Connor could participate again this year because there are so few events totally focused on him.

Connor thoroughly enjoyed himself. He thought the wealth of donuts should be shared (and Susie shared a whole donut with him).

Thanks to the organizers (Susie, Pat and Carolyn) we had some fun games! We had a scavenger hunt, which would not be complete without looking in the outhouse for one of your items. We didn't find one there, but we did find a stuffed toy riding a Harley in the barn! And have you ever looked at the ingredients for Worcestershire Sauce?

Following the scavenger hunt was another popular game, the scurry. Connor thought this was an outstanding game that ended way too early (30 seconds). Too little time, and too many toys for him to pick up and carry back across the line! Devon even got in the act for that one, too. However, my Senior Hunter was too overwhelmed by bumpers AND stuffed toys to retrieve, she couldn't choose!

The final game was a relay race where the dogs had to stop at four stations and do everything a good multi-purpose Golden should do: conformation (they had to stop and "stack"), agility (they had to jump a low jump), obedience (they had to do three sits), and field work (they had to carry a bumper). Connor's never been in the conformation ring, but he knows how to stand. And I can't recall him ever retrieving a bumper, but he was game to carry one just the same!

Connor also spent some quality time on my lap. He hasn't done this in years! It must have been all those games that wore him out ... that and all the donuts he ate!

After a wonderful pitch-in dinner (for the humans and not the dogs), we ended the fun with our Parade of Veterans. Each dog was announced and came forward to get a treat, a pretty ribbon and cheers from the audience. The dog's accomplishments were read and they performed any tricks they knew.

I recognized Connor for not only his accomplishments in the agility, obedience and rally ring, but also for the one thing he has taught every dog that has come into our household after him: how to eat poop. And now you know the family secret: NO KISSES FROM CONNOR!

The day ended with the group shot of all our Veterans. You see that our Golden Retriever club is all inclusive and boasts members with Flat Coats, Labs and Rotties!

The S.T.A.R. Puppy
We left the party a little early, because I needed to head north to the Greater Lafayette Kennel Club for Page's S.T.A.R. Puppy test. Page took a course in the summer from the S.T.A.R. Puppy/CGC Evaluator which qualified her to take the S.T.A.R. Puppy test.

S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is a relatively new program from AKC. The program focuses on teaching new puppy owners to Socialize their puppies, Train their puppies, give their puppies regular Activity and be Responsible for their puppies.

The test is composed of nine Pre-Canine Good Citizen behaviors:

1. Allows petting by a person other than the owner.
2. Allows the owner to handle and give a brief exam of ears and feet.
3. Walks on a leash.
4. Walks by other people.
5. Sits on command.
6. Downs on command.
7. Comes to owner from 5 ft. when name is called.
8. Reacts appropriately when distractions are presented 15 ft. away.
9. Stays on a leash with another person while owner walks 10 steps away and returns.

Although everyone else was confident in Page's positive outcome, I took a wait and see approach. Even though she had just passed her TDX the weekend before, Page isn't known for her self-control; she's more of a "let's get going" type of girl. However, she held it together and did a lovely job during this test (even though she spent the morning in the van while Connor was having fun).

The kennel club did a wonderful job with the test, providing us with a star-shaped cookie treats and a special S.T.A.R. Puppy collar tag with Page's name on it and showing she "graduated" in the class of 2009. We ended by having our photo taken!

The one in between
So now you are wondering about Devon's day. Well, she was tolerant of Connor's special time. She did get to come out and play one game. However, when we got to the kennel club and PAGE got to go inside, that was a little too much for Devon. Page was getting to have fun, and Devon was just sure she was missing out on something special since we were at the kennel club (and give her credit, she was right).

Devon has a very bad habit of pulling things into her crate and shredding them when she's displeased. She doesn't eat what she tears up, she just shreds things to make a point. When she was 10 months old, I had to buy a woman a new coat at an agility trial. I have done a good job of creating a "dead zone" around Devon's crate in the SUV, but on this day we were in the van ... and my blue pullover was too close to Devon's crate. When Page and I returned to the van, a large portion of the back of my pullover was laying in pieces in the bottom of Devon's crate.

It's a good thing for Devon my mother is a miracle worker. She managed to piece together the jacket and replace most of the back with a coordinating fleece panel. I've actually had several compliments on my jacket since it's been repaired ... although I don't plan on leaving things too close to Devon in the future!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

You finally posted it! (the shredded fleece)

And yes, actually I just recently looked at the ingredients for Worc. sauce when I was making meatloaf, just out of curiosity...

And, last but not least: AW! CONNOR! What a sweetie. There's no one like him...