Monday, July 14, 2008

Nubins Wagging

Last Saturday we all got a treat. There was what I'm calling a dog fair in town. It's a yearly event sponsored by a charity that gets dogs and their owners out and about for a day of fun, all to raise money for the charity. There were a ton of vendors, all giving out samples...mostly dog food vendors. If I had wanted I could have gotten enough to feed Theo for a year! I only got him enough to feed him some lunch.

The fair was really about events. They had everything! Agility, flyball, lure coursing, CGC testing, dock diving, you name it! There was supposed to be herding, but it was! Theo didn't participate in anything, but we all had a blast watching. My favorite was the dock diving. They had a huge tub of water (it was like a raised pool) and a dock leading up to it. People would throw their dog a toy into the water to get them to chase after it and dive in. Everyone waited on baited breath to see if the dog would actually jump in. When the dog took the plunge everyone would cheer! Most of the time the dog came to a screeching halt at the edge of the deck and paced, trying to figure out how to get the toy without jumping in the water. That was funny too.

It was fascinating to watch the "real" agility testing. It was so crazy to see how fast those dogs can move! And how in tune they are with their owner's smallest commands. I can't picture Theo ever being that in tune with me, but it would be so awesome if he was! We wanted to let him try the lure course, since it was pretty simple, just run after the moving white flags. But as luck would have it, the machine broke right as we went up to buy a ticket. Oh well! We didn't get to see any of the other activities because they were at a local high school a few miles away (due to the necessity of being indoors).

I can't wait until next year, when Theo is old enough to try some of the events on his own! Even though he wasn't jumping over hurdles or running through tunnels, he was still pooped enough to collapse asleep on my lap on the ride home. We went with some friends and their dog, a German Shepherd, so they ended just playing the whole time we watched all the other dogs. It worked out well. It turns out Theo and the German Shepherd were perfectly suited to playing together. He loves to jump on heads and bite their ears and she loves to crouch low and bite legs. It was hilarious watching her trying to bite Theo's legs as he jumped on her head.

They also had CGC (canine good citizenship) testing going on at the fair. Husband wanted to try getting him tested, even though he knew Theo wouldn't pass it, just to give it a try. But as soon as he looked at the list of everything Theo had to do, he didn't want to bother. There were a lot of things on the list that Theo just doesn't have down, like standing for grooming (he'll sit in my lap just fine, but he's not much of a "stander"), or not reacting to another dog or person approaching. But it was great to get the full list of what the test consists of. Now we can use that as our basis for the things we make sure to train him for. Whenever someone asks me what the point of getting CGC, I could say that it can be a precursor to being a therapy dog, or because I want an upstanding member of the canine community, but really I feel like it's a way of showing all these weeks of training actually mean something. It would mean to me that all the hard work we put in to make sure Theo works out as a part of the family is recognized. For bragging rights!

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