Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Update, Update

I have two training reports to share since my last blog post. While I was not the most thrilled to have missed February's Graduation because Kolby didn't make a match, I am here to prove that I did survive and life did in fact move forward (wink).  

February's Training report was another one to beam over. Kolby continued to have all Positive Behavior boxes marked and the words from his Trainer were nice to hear. It helped ease my sorrow of him not finding his forever person. The report read: 

This month we have used Kolby's training in more real life situations and he is doing well. Kolby improved with tugging heavy doors and is generalizing the behavior on and off campus. He successfully completes behaviors with little to no management from his handler. He continues to play well with other dogs and loves to play fetch. Kolby has been transferred to fellow instructor and she will be continuing his training. 

I was so happy to hear his improvement in an area that he was trying to conquer, and that his confidence seems to be on track too. 

Then about two weeks ago I received an email while I was putting my phone away in the parking lot of my workplace. It was from our Puppy Program Manager announcing that Kolby will be involved with a Side Placement Team Training class in April. I was not expecting this surprise and I admit that I got butterflies and went a little shaky as I walked into the classroom to start work.  I couldn't wait to tell my family and friends. 

So, what does this all mean? It just means that he gets another opportunity to find his forever person because a Side Placement Class is made of those who have been through the program before with Canine Companions; but their Graduate dog has either retired, or unfortunately passed away, and they are ready for their Successor Dog. The people invited do not need a full two week course, and therefore this Side Placement is perfect for them as they stay on campus for just one week working with their new dog before they both Graduate and leave for home. 

If Kolby continues to say, "I don't see my Forever" in April, then he will be in May's standard Team Training Class with hopes of giving a final answer on May 15th. If he still doesn't find his person at that time, then I am thinking (with crossed fingers and toes) that everyone agrees Kolby did fabulous in college with great study habits and work ethic, but it is time for him to Go Home!! Also known as  - we rush down the highway covering two states to snuggle our dog all the back up the highway to home.  (Yeah - that would be fun too). 

And then we received his March update recently and it still proves he is working well on campus. In fact, he is starting to help a little bit around the campus by doing laundry and helping with the dishes. I found this report to be really fun. 

As a new third semester, Kolby has adjusted well to a new handler. Kolby is learning some new commands, such as "door". He is also generalizing advanced commands in new ways, including closing the dishwasher and helping with the laundry. We have taken several field trips. We continue to work on light/switch and delivery discrimination. Kolby continues to be attentive and easy to manage. 

This could possibly be his last college report card. If so, then he has had seven report cards, all of which have never had any of the Behavior Part 2 boxes marked. What is Behavior Part 2? Those are items of behavior that need correction. It is very common for a dog to have a few of these boxes marked and still be able to Graduate - because no dog is perfect month and after month, and if the Trainer can get the dog turned around, then no big deal. Haddie, on occasion, had some boxes marked on Behavior Part 2. 

I'm not sure, nor do I really care, how frequent it is for a dog not to have any Behavior Part 2 boxes checked ... my main boast and pride is that Mister has not, and that is pretty darn cool that he is holding himself accountable for knowing the expectations and living a pretty easy-going, awesome attitude. I always thought he was pretty darn perfect, and maybe college life is showing that he really is!!! (Ha) 

So very proud. 

I can't wait to see Mister sometime this Spring. Will it be in three weeks or six weeks? 
I will keep you posted ... 

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