so, i know i'm in the bad habit of only writing every two days...i'll try to work on that. friday was GREAT! we had a working evaluation in the morning where we had to go through a list of different scenarios and come up with commands and work our dog in front of the rest of the group while they eval'd us. VIGGO could not have done better!! for some reason, he didn't feel like "speaking" & he didn't do so well with "leave it" walking past a huge milkbone on the floor, but all else was almost perfect. i was shocked and proud and very excited! in the afternoon, we had to go on our solo exam, a mock of the exercise real clients have to do right before they graduate. we went to the mall and each had a schedule of tasks for an hour, we all had to be in different places at different times so we were alone the whole time. VIGGO had to do things like give a business card up on the counter to a clerk, throw away my trash, "go in" under a table of merchandise in a store and stay, etc. again, he was great. i was vaguely aware that we were provided these strict schedules for a reason, and my suspicions were confirmed when we returned to the institute to a room full of slightly familiar faces. many of the strangers we'd seen, talked to, and done tasks for in the mall were in fact spies. this exercise serves to give the clients confidence in working their dog on their own, while allowing the organization to monitor and give feedback. it was very fun and interesting...and, of course, it's always nice to be successful!
yesterday, a group of us ventured out to dillon beach, the dog beach. it was the most beautiful drive through the country...i felt like i was home driving through farms, except there aren't as many trees, hardly any actually, on the mountains so they are brown instead of green. and the grass is brown, too...but it's prettier than it sounds! we had to go down into this huge valley to get to the beach where we unloaded our 7 dogs and let them off leash. the ran and played and were so good and responsive and had the best time. all we could do was smile and laugh watching them romp in the waves and play with other dogs. we had picnic lunch and laid in the sand for a while, let the dogs play a few times before heading back. these festivities left me almost as worn out as VIGGO so we napped for a long time, recovering from the sun. then we had a relaxing night in with jenn, karen, SALLY and CHRISSY! here are a few beach pics....
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