Sometimes you just need a friend.
Sometimes you just need a friend.
Poor Jenny has injured herself and will be spending more time on the futon than usual. She was racing around the pool area and yelped. When I turned to see what had happened she was now racing around on three legs instead of four. The vet said she had torn a ligament in her knee and would need surgery. Now we’re looking into the whole thing, but it seems that it’s one of those things that are 50/50 for and against the surgery.
Don’t worry, she can still get on the futon, run around on three legs, get the bone, play with her toys, eat cookies and wag her little tail!
The last time I was in Petsupermarket buying dog food they had these cute sheep – dog toys on sale for $1.50, so of course I couldn’t pass it up.
After a few days I made the observation that it seemed the reason it was on sale was because it was really hard to find the squeeker in the sheep’s belly. Then I handed the toy to Jenny and she immediately showed me that the best squeeker was in the NOSE! News to me because I didn’t know it existed – but she did!
I’ve always thought she was smarter than me, but now I’m positive.
Yesterday was the last day of school for Jenny. School isn’t really out for summer until Friday.
Mary and I put the finishing touches on a small picture book we made this year, while Jenny supervised. Then we all went to see the guidance counselor and the coach to show them Mary’s book, which is a little work of art. They liked it too.
Sometime in the near future I’ll scan in my copy (Mary made a copy for me too!). This is the third book we’ve made together which is a great activity to do with kids.
She is lying still on the concrete in full sunlight. Not moving, yet all her muscles are engaged and ready to spring into action. Her eyes are fixed on something in the distance.
Suddenly there is a movement in the brush that made a sort of slithery rustling sound. Slowly she raised her haunches, keeping her head low to the ground, still watching and waiting for the next move. She crept closer as if following a line drawn on the patio or as though being pulled by a magnet. This time she wouldn’t lay completely down but would crouch as low as possible and keep the ground tightly gripped.
Suddenly with ears flying, tail wagging, body and paws spinning, drooling, she pounced into the palmetto and the lizard never stood a chance. Another springer spaniel victory!
Oh, and then she went swimming.
When we first started with the Coach Dog program we weren’t quite sure what to do but soon had ideas that would easily consume the school year. We went to school once a week and spent maybe an hour or two at the most. Jenny would have been happy to go to school every day and loved the kids swarming around her.
The first idea was to have our student, Mary, help me with Jenny’s training.
Jenny is very responsive to treats so, training with her is pretty easy. Our goal was to train Jenny well enough to do a little performance in front of our new friend Mary’s class. Also, Jenny needed to pass the Canine Good Citizen exam in order to please the Humane Society’ therapy dog group.
Here’s the link to the AKC site section on the program for a better understanding of the 10 part test: http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/program.cfm
We really had a lot to do! Mary, Jenny and I have similar personalities though (easily distracted) and as if that weren’t enough to do we also incorporated art projects.
But getting back to how Jenny learned to read, we thought we would bore the class if Jenny just did a sit and stay because Jenny will just sit at attention forever until you say “Okay”.
Jenny was always in the library. She needed to learn to read instead of hunting for lizards in the book stacks.
We made up some flashcards with the words that we thought or hoped Jenny would respond to then figured out hand signals that would go along with the cards. Then of course you have to hold up the correct card and give the hand signal where the class doesn’t notice you giving it, but kids are very keen on unveiling your secrets. The students also will call out what the flash card says. That seems to add to the excitement because you have to warn them to be quiet and not let Jenny hear what the card says.
In the end Jenny did very well with “Sit”, “Shake”, “Down” and “Roll Over”.
Not bad for a springer spaniel!
Jenny brought her act to the Boys and Girls Club one day and was a huge hit!
Jenny definitely lives in the moment and seems to enjoy them all, except when I leave the house without her. But, I’m sure she just jumps on the couch and takes a nap as soon as I’m gone.
There have been way too many moments that have gone by without posting on Jenny’s blog though, not that she’d notice. Although Mary and I taught her to read, her vocabulary is limited.
As I reviewed the past, I found so many events that were missing that it’s hard to know where to begin.
Jenny lost several friends in the recent past.
Duke, who lived in the neighborhood, another handsome springer spaniel, died from a sudden liver ailment. Lady Duke, a beautiful girl springer spaniel has now moved into his house. She wants to dominate Jenny for some reason. Jenny doesn’t care but Tangie thinks she has to defend Jenny.
Our sweet beagle Jintsy died – she was about 17 yrs. old. One day she just couldn’t move and couldn’t eat. She had a great life and I’ll always miss her and her beagle ways.
Jenny’s mentor, Coach, died and we were all very sad about not seeing him anymore. Scout will be trying to fill Coach’s paw prints, seems impossible but he’s already tried to convince Jenny that he should be her bff.
Who is Mary? She’s the little girl that Jenny was assigned when she joined the Coach Dog program. Stay tuned for how we taught Jenny to read.