We have enjoyed our special 35th anniversary travel season so much, both our RV and non-RV trips, but our adventures have mostly come to an end for now. Hubby inherited responsibility over a second department at work a couple of months ago, and we need to spend more time at home to give him the time he needs to get some things done at work for a while. Such is real life, but good things are happening there, too. We have more travel plans coming up in the RV later on this year, but we will most likely just revisit some places we have enjoyed in the past.
For this reason, I have had more time alone lately, so I made a decision a few weeks ago to finally get Red into puppy school before he turned a year-old. I originally planned to schedule these classes in the early spring, but that plan did not work for several reasons. On Wednesday, Red will (hopefully) graduate from beginner classes and will start intermediate classes two weeks later. If we stay on schedule, he should be ready for advanced classes in early December, and by the end of January, he should finally be done with regular obedience classes. I am also planning to take Girly Girl for her advanced classes that we never took three years ago, and I am still looking into the timing of those classes for her some time this fall or in early winter.
With the successful completion of beginner, intermediate and advanced classes for both dogs, they should be able to test for their Canine Good Citizen certificates with the AKC early next year. Obtaining this certification, which is open to all dogs, opens doors to participate in other programs, such as therapy dog programs. Participating in service programs with one or both of my dogs is something that I would truly enjoy, if the dogs ever achieve that level of obedience.
I believe that most (but certainly not all) people love spending time with a good, well-behaved dog, and both dogs have done so well with the obedience training they has already completed. I have envisioned visiting schools to let the dogs sit with kids while the kids read, visiting hospitals to let the dogs bring smiles and comfort to sick persons and children, and visiting elder care facilities to let the dogs bring joy to residents. For the past couple of years, Girly Girl has brought smiles and laughter to residents of the community where my mother lives, and I love taking her there to share in part of that joy. Many of those residents had dogs in their own homes and miss them, so having regular visits with a good dog can be such a beneficial thing for everyone.
I love this recent quote by Cesar Millan.
Dogs and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly.
— Cesar Millan (@cesarmillan) October 9, 2014
I would also like to say that dogs and the elderly are such a great combination, too. Just ask my 93 year-young mom and her friends.
Standard poodles always seem to garner attention from others in just about any setting, probably because of their outgoing personality, their intelligence and the pretty grooming that they receive. Our dogs have been singled out by reporters on more than one occasion when we have taken our dogs to public events, and Big Ol’ Baby, who we lost a year ago tomorrow, was on the news and in the newspaper several times. He was such a beautiful, loving dog, even in his old age.
I will always regret that Big Ol’ Baby never became a therapy dog because he would have done a great job. All of our standard poodles have pretty much lived to have someone love on them, play with them and exercise them, and they are always willing to return the love. I am excited to hopefully share this wonderful breed and our sweet dogs’ personalities in a more meaningful way with others soon, and perhaps someday when I am old and all alone, someone will bring a sweet dog to visit me, too.
Even if we are never able to participate in these programs, though, completing advanced obedience courses and earning the Canine Good Citizen certification will be something that I have never done with any of our dogs and will be a great accomplishment for both dogs. It will also be something I will be proud to have done personally, too, since much of the training is about “training the owner.” Having well-behaved dogs is also a necessity when we take them camping in the RV, and we always enjoy taking our dogs on walks and letting them visit with other campers who are usually quite interested to meet them and learn more about them. Girly Girl is pretty much already there, but Red is still quite the puppy with a mind of his own, for sure. I’m beginning to think there really is some truth to the idea of mischievous red-headed kids and red-headed dogs! 🙂
This is going to be a very busy week for me, as I finally have my first colonoscopy scheduled for this afternoon. The roofers will hopefully be able to install our new roof and our new solar attic fan on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and Wednesday night is puppy school test and graduation. I am grateful that the colonoscopy prep has not been bad at all, and I am also grateful that the pups and I can retreat to the motor home while the roofers are here, too. There are a couple of little projects that I would like to work on in the RV anyway, so this will be a good opportunity to hopefully get those done this week.
Also, for my regular readers, you may notice that I have opted to begin moderating all comments going forward. I did not realize that feature was an option on my site or I would have selected it from the beginning. One RV-related post of mine is going a bit viral right now after being featured on Buzzfeed, and my visitor count has increased pretty dramatically in recent days. I would prefer to keep a better grip on what others share on my site, at least for now, and I truly appreciate each and every one of you that visits regularly and comments here to hopefully make this a friendly place for all.