Sunday, July 14, 2013

Abby's "Not Ready" Yet But We're Having Fun!

Abby had her first therapy dog evaluation on Saturday and Abby was deemed to be 'not ready' yet.   But now she and Mom have a much better idea of what they need to do to get her ready for her next evaluation.  But in the meantime, Abby will still be a 'dog-in-training' for a while!

Note from Dr. Liz here: While I knew that Abby and I'm weren't 100% ready to be certified as a therapy team, I didn't realize how far from ready we actually were.  Abby and I have spent a fair amount of time working on 'basic skills' at Home Depot, and that has been going pretty well.  However, the evaluation was at a local rehab/assisted living facility, and as soon as we walked in the door, I knew we were definitely not ready.  Abby was sniffing at everything, and far more interested in the therapy dog volunteer, the residents in the hallways and nurse with her cart of stuff than in paying attention to me.  When we went into the room for the evaluation, it took me a few minutes to get Abby calmed down enough to actually start the evaluation.  And on the first 'skill' where Abby was supposed to remain sitting at my side while the evaluator approached us, Abby sat for about 5 seconds and immediately approached the evaluator.  Which deemed us 'not ready'.    

However, they did let us do some of the other skills (getting brushed, accepting treats, and getting pet by a stranger). We did okay on the brushing, Abby was a start at accepting treats (duh.... this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows her!) and she was a STAR at getting pet by a stranger (Abby would be happy to accept pets from Jack the Ripper...).   Abby has this amazing ability to make anyone who is giving her pets and scratchies feel like they are The Best Scratchie Giver EVER.  She LOVES getting attention from people.  Which was probably her only saving grace in the evaluation, as the team evaluating us had to agree that she definitely had "it".  We just need to work a whole lot more on the skills - which, luckily, is trainable; apparently the "You Are the Best Scratchie Giver EVER" attitude is something you either have or you don't.  Which could be the only reason the evaluation team didn't ask me if I had considered getting a therapy guinea pig instead!   We have a lot of work ahead of us, but at least now I've got a sense of the intensity of the evaluation - I just have to figure out how to train Abby to not get stressed in intense situations like that.   And the training is fun bonding time for us, so we'll keep focusing on the process.

All of which means that I get to spend peaceful quality time with Dad while Mom and Abby learn how to sit and walk sedately.

In other excitement, Abby and I went to the groomer (aka "The Hair Stealers") this week.  Mom has decided that while she will groom us herself most of the time, it's a good idea to have a professional do it a couple of times a year so she remembers what we are supposed to look like.

And here we are.  Nekkid!

Hi!  We're nekkid!
We have also been spending quality time working on our frisbee techniques...

Pre-haircut frisbee antics

Nice almost-catch!  No wonder she's 'not ready'!  Heehee!

See how I levitate when I'm nekkid?

Dual frisbee antics!

More dual frisbee antics!

I run like the wind when I'm nekkid!
Nekkid therapy-dog-in-training!
As for my birthday celebration... Well, that has been put off a little longer - mostly because after Mom and Dad went bye-sickle-ing today, Mom had to go to the grocery store and it's too hot for me to sit in the car while Mom goes shopping, and Mom didn't want to go to the Magic Cheeseburger Window without me, since a big part of the Cheeseburger Experience is me being able to stick my head out the window and sniff all the lovely smells emanating from the Magic Cheeseburger Building.  But Mom assures me the Magic Cheeseburger Window Experience is coming!  I'll keep you posted!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus


harrispen said...

Sorry to hear Abby didn't pass the eval, but we are sure she will make it eventually. You look much cooler all nekkid.

Millie & Walter

Dexter said...

Miss Abby needs to chill. Maybe her brain is still too much of a teenage brain. I have to say that your fur cuts aren't that much different from the home salon (meaning that your home do looks pretty darn good).


1000 Goldens said...

Abbs, we are proud of you no matter what! The good news is, you get more one-on-one time with Mom + lots more pets from new people :)

Thanks for the nekked pictures of your and Fiona. Hubba-hubba!!

Love, Newton

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

WOW.... when I (Frankie Furter) was trained and took My test... I was NOT allowed to take any food from anyone... EXCEPT my very own MOM.

Don't worry... it is GOOD to take the test TWICE... that way you are really SURE you get it right.
I got to take a PRACTICE test... and that is what you should think of this as being... just PRACTICE for the actual test.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Fiona, Birthday wishes to you! I love how well Abbey is doing; my Hunter was going to try to do the CGC test but he wouldn't sit on stay, while I walked away, without whining and crying. Don't think he would ever get over that.
Thanks for sharing such fun pictures.
Noreen & Hunter

Two French Bulldogs said...

Once approved Abbey you will do just fine
Benny & Lily

Mitch and Molly said...

We bet you ace the test next time, Abby! Jack the Ripper - haha

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Fiona, We are huge believers in the Magic Cheeseburger Window here! All pups (and human) need that from time to time!

Love your frisbee pics!

Sam said...

Abby will learn - it sounds like you have a great start.


Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello fiona and abby its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow sumwun stole yore furs!!! maybe it wuz tucker i no he has ben lukking for furs to replayse the wuns they stole off him wen he had his xray and ultrasownd not long ago he mite be mayking himself a fiona and abby toopay!!! ha ha ok bye