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Pet Partners tests

by Kyler Laird last modified 2009-06-13 04:05

Huntley, Jacks and Bozo took the Delta Society Pet Partner evaluation with me.

date: 2009-06-11 (4521 days ago)

dogs: Bozo/Bo, Huntley, Jacks

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Today we had a Caring Paws Pet Partners evaluation at the UUC. Bo and Huntley just passed their six month mark with me so I wanted to test them and even though I've only had Jacks 45 days I wanted him to take the evaluation so he can be covered under my insurance. I knew it would take a lot for Bo to pass so I pulled him and Jacks a couple hours before the test.

I let all the dogs out for quite awhile before taking Bo to the car. He was still way too excited about meeting Jacks so I booted him and let him run alongside the car for a mile or so. We stopped for a long drink before heading to Petsmart (with Bo tethered). He was considerably more relaxed after the run but still a bit too interested in Jacks. Jacks appeared completely oblivious to the danger.

I put Jacks in the bag I got at the AHHS garage sale and tried to get Bo to relieve himself before entering Petsmart. I was a bit concerned about how much he drank after the run. Bo continued to look for Jacks in the car but finally went and then we headed inside. I was a little surprised by how much attention Bo got. Everyone thinks he's such a big dog. (He only weighs about 100 pounds.) He got lots of petting from adults and children, and several dogs greeted him. I was pleased that he did beautifully with everyone and surprised at his lack of interest in other dogs. He was well-behaved even when they weren't.

Bo heeled well as I searched for a new brush for Buddy and another carrier for Jacks. I eventually opened the bag a bit so Jacks could poke out his head. Bo finally figured out Jacks was there and his nose was glued to the bag after that. I was checking out the first carrier I found and eventually put Jacks on the ground next to Bo (who was in a down). They did great together. I was so proud of Bo and impressed with Jacks's demeanor. Even in a busy aisle with lots of wiggly dogs, Jacks was completely cool and Bo was a charmer. After we moved to look at more carriers I put them both down again and they seemed very comfortable with each other.

We got outside and almost made it to the grass when a couple stopped me to ask about Bo. As we talked, Bo released a torrent on the sidewalk. (Fortunately it had started to rain.) We'd spent way too long in the store right after his big drink. I'm so glad he held it - what a trooper! Not bad for a dog who has spent so many months kenneled. On the way to the test Bo was still interested in Jacks but had become much calmer.

At the test I waited as a couple other dogs went and then took Huntley. He's been at a foster home so I don't get to see him much. He'd gotten some great care and I enjoyed handling and snuggling him during the test. Huntley was a handful during the test but he's a great guy and squeaked through it.

It was finally Bo's turn. He took a lot of management and although he was heeling better than usual it was still barely passable. The big surprise of the day was that he had no interest in Pebbles, the neutral dog. That was a huge relief. Things were going great until the exam when Bo...growled??? No, it sounded like a growl at first but it wasn't at all. That became especially evident when he rolled on his back for more. This low rumbling vocalization was new to me from him but he certainly wasn't doing it out of aggression. Still, it would certainly scare someone if he did it on a visit so he failed the test but we continued and he did well. I'm disappointed that the big guy didn't pass but I was delighted by how well he did. I think that I pushed him a bit too hard with a long day out and then lots of waiting in the hall.

Jacks was next. It was my first time taking the test with a carried animal. It was laughably easy. (I felt a little silly doing "out for a walk" while holding Jacks.) Jacks has all his claws and they're quite sharp (in case he needs to use them). I was a bit concerned that he might deploy them by accident during the test but it wasn't a problem at all and he passed the test without incident. I think he'll be a great addition to our visits.

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