Therapy Team Test

Sweet Bella passed her therapy dog obedience test today!  There was an obstacle course to maneuver, scenarios in which she had to refrain from greeting someone, others in which she could say hello, a "pat down" during with the evaluator touched her all over, even giving her tail a tweak (to mimic what might happen if she visits children) and more.  The other dogs there had been in a six week course to prepare but I thought Bella, given her temperament, intelligence, and her history as a former guide dog, could pass without the additional instruction.  She was a super-star. She wagged her tail the entire time and won everyone over. I'm so proud of her.  She seemed to enjoy the whole experience.

I passed too.  I had an oral exam of the rules and was evaluated as a handler.  I've since learned that Bella could have passed and I could have failed.  Apparently, that kind of scenario has happened.

Next step: three observations "in the field".  I'll keep you posted.



kathy loomis said…
Inquiring minds want to know -- when was Bella a guide dog and how did she get to you?
Vivien Zepf said…
Kathy -- For the past 24 years we've had an awesome relationship with the The Seeing Eye in New Jersey to adopt dogs who, at various stages of their career, needed to be released for medical reasons. Our first dog, for example, jumped up in the yard of her blind owner and ripped up her knee when it got caught in the chain link fence. Bella -- our fourth dog from The Seeing Eye -- was released because she lost confidence in her decision-making. As you can imagine, an indecisive guide dog isn't a safe one. Now, however, she's one of the most confident dogs you've ever met, without being a bully. To date we haven't encountered a dog that hasn't deferred to her as the alpha. It's pretty amazing to see. She's also one of the smartest dogs we've had. She's so clever that she can watch a board game being played on the ground and understand whose turn is next. Not kidding! She loves to have jobs, whether it's finding her breakfast bowl of food that we've hidden elsewhere in the house to waking up the children in the morning. I know she's going to love this work, too.
Karen L R said…
Congratulations to you both! xo