Winston and I spent nearly six hours at a training session yesterday. He aced the “stay” and being petted by three people coming at him all at once and he didn’t bat an eye when approached by someone in a walker. The only thing he wasn’t perfect at was getting checked out by the instructor. She put him on the table (because he’s small) and it reminded him of going to the vet. I got assertive and asked if he could do it again, but on the ground this time and he passed with flying colors.
So, as soon as a date is posted, he and I will take the Reading with Rover test! What I learned yesterday is that when teams get “not ready” ratings, it’s almost always the human’s fault. So I have to remember NEVER to drop the leash (an immediate flunk) and to wait until the evaluator has explained everything we’re supposed to do.
And I have to remember to smile. And breathe. (Taking this test is scarier than facing a gymnasium full of 8th graders!)
After we pass the test, I have to do two shadow visits without Winston the Wonder Dog and then we put in 10 hours of volunteer time as greeters. If we make it past all that, we can team up to go into schools!
This has been Winston’s dream, ever since he was a puppy and heard that Reading with Rover dogs get their own bookmarks, complete with photo. He’s ready for his close-up!