Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sue got to see a more grown up Hardy and we attended the seminar

Sue Alexander arrived here Thursday evening for her 3 day seminar this weekend and to see a much larger Hardy than she last saw at the beginning of September. Sue seemed very pleased with how he looked and behaved. We discussed that we are knowingly taking it quite slowly with him and that we have no desire to change our plans. 
Friday, Hardy attended portions of the seminar with me and did a super job laying on his mat and practicing some skills. We worked on his ability to untangle his feet from the leash and I dropped some things for him to pick up. He was absolutely certain that he should pick up a water bottle that was next to someone else's chair but we worked that out and he left it alone. 
For the last couple weeks, unfortunately, I have been having lots of muscle spasms and Hardy had a couple firsts related to them. While we were at the seminar, Hardy began alerting - the first time he has done so away from home and away from Laurel. He was very consistent and persistent. Based on his behavior at the seminar and what Sue has seen from him since she's been here, she says that I should stop referring to him as a service dog candidate - he has been promoted to service dog in training. 
Yesterday, we dropped Sue off at the seminar and headed over to Fortunate Fido in Columbia Station for our last class/test for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy award. The instructor, Anne Kiser, had requested that we prepare three new tricks for class and as soon as we got there, she requested we show what we had done. Hardy and I had worked on a number of different things this week but what I showed was Hardy doing a spin to his left (his stiffer side); his ability to untangle his feet from the leash on cue and his favorite hoola hoop trick - he gets inside it, picks it up and turns around while holding it so it looks like he's hoola-hooping. It's pretty cute and he did it perfectly so we might eventually incorporate it in a freestyle routine for C-WAGS ARF class. We worked on some obedience things - sits, downs and stays; the puppies got to play for a bit and they experimented with some of the agility equipment. Hardy passed the class and got the award so he is now a S.T.A.R. Puppy. We headed back to the seminar but I started feeling really crappy and Hardy started alerting so I decided to head home. We missed most of the seminar today too but it seems to have gone very well and I was very proud of Hardy while he was there.

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