Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday School

One of the benefits of being in a CCI 4H club with Haddie are the opportunities presented for outings. A month ago a church contacted our 4H group wondering if a handler and puppy in training could visit their Sunday School class to give a demonstration about training, and a presentation about Service Dogs.
My son volunteered and our day was last Sunday. We traveled a good hour to get to this church, but it was worth the experience for both boy and pup. We left so happy that it went so well, and we certainly felt very welcomed by the entire congregation.
The dozen kiddos ranged from age two to perhaps late elementary years. They were all very polite and well mannered, listening well to my son's presentation, and asking great questions.

Haddie settled in next to my son and showed off some of her trained skills. Haddie recently learned to Roll on command. Starting this trained skill has been hard for Haddie. She learned how to Roll during class time, but did not transfer well to practicing at home. She even went through a phase of  "freaking out" even to get into a cradle! We have slowly worked through the fear to where cradles are no big deals again, and a Roll will be obeyed.
Except that we observed that Haddie would not Roll while wearing her vest last Sunday; in front of all the kids who were expecting her to follow the command. It turned into a good lesson that training is a lot of hard work, and it takes time for the dogs to learn their skills needed by the time their 18 months are up with their Puppy Trainer. And - that we need to continue to work on Roll with vest.
The Sunday School class didn't care, but my son was a little bummed that Haddie would not comply. He kept his cool and kept patience while he waited for her to follow through. She leaned to the side, but it technically was not a roll.

Part of the presentation was learning the Do's and Don'ts of how to react with a Service Dog in Training, and a Graduate. When my son opened up for questions, the students could come pet Haddie and they all "asked" before petting. They were fantastic!!
Haddie was in heaven with the kids' attention. This sweet girl in the white dress was very hesitant about petting Haddie, and didn't speak much. However, once she found her courage and started petting Haddie, she couldn't stop - and then she started saying Haddie's name. It was adorable!! Haddie loved this little girl's lovin'.
To close our time together, the class drew and colored pictures of my son and Haddie. The pictures were darling and my son has put them in his 4H binder as a forever memory.
We met some adults of the church in the foyer before we drove home. They were very encouraging to my son for his service with CCI, and adored Haddie's sweet face and calm demeanor.


  1. Sounds like a great experience for everyone all around. I am very impressed with the way you son has taken to Haddie. It takes a lot to get up in front of a group of strangers to speak.

    It would be fun to see some of your favorite drawing that the children drew of Haddie and your son!

  2. WOW, what a great opportunity. And how brave of your son to give a presentation like that! And good for him for keeping his cool!! that's great! You should be one proud momma!