Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Team Training Day 10, Shopping & Storytelling ~ 6/21/16

Today marked the class' second day of outings. The morning found us at PetSmart where we finished any necessary shopping. 

Despite all the work that we have done previously, it was still somewhat of a challenge to keep the dogs "tuned in" with all of the distractions in the story. There were birds chirping, cats meowing, rodents bustling, toys squeaking and crinkling, and perhaps the most challenging for the lab golden crosses, food smells down nearly every aisle.

After everyone finished, we headed over to Costco to REALLY challenge ourselves in the food distraction department. Handlers had to walk all over the store (including by food sample stations) making sure that their dogs didn't sniff at or eat anything.

Next came lunch at Olive Garden. This was a good time to practice getting all the dogs to lay inconspicuously under the table so they wouldn't trip anyone.

Following lunch we went to the mall where we practiced some more advanced commands. Teams were asked to have their dogs accomplish anything from "ups" on garbage cans to pawing an access button or a soda machine.

Some of the pups were a little reluctant at first so it was the handlers job to cheer them on. Everyone walked out exhausted, but smiling and feeling accomplished.
Havin' a bit of fun!

The day was capped off with an enjoyable, relaxed evening was spent at the home of Fred and Jean Hall where Kevin Carr captivated us with his bagpipe and story telling. Our hosts filled us with delicious ice cream and fresh berries before sending us on our way.

Today's bio is on Shelby, a 15 year who loves cookie dough ice cream, swimming, and horseback riding. For Shelby having autism means having a hard time making friends, but her family's recent experience puppy raising for CAST has shown them that having a dog out in public can help draw others to Shelby and develop stronger relationships with those around her. It is their hope that this will only continue when she is placed with an assisted service dog of her very own. Shelby says that her favorite thing that she has learned in class has been how to tell the dog to load up in the car. 

She took particular interest in the rules regarding this task and always made sure everyone knew how to do it safely. She most looks forward to showing her dog how to jump on her bed to snuggle. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Shelby said that she would like to become a veterinarian because she loves animals. 

Her parents are accurate when they say that Shelby is loving, happy, and loves to help others. Never intimidated by anything, Shelby's enthusiasm has been boundless and unwavering. She is often the first one to try new challenges and does so without a single thought of possible failure. This fearlessness is undoubtedly one of Shelby's best qualities as it inspires us to live life without limits.

Countdown to Graduation Raffle Ticket Winners

214   6/16/16
130   6/17/16
917   6/18/16
815   6/19/16
817   6/20/16
032   6/21/16
494   6/22/16

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