Jeb's DogBlog - Go Dogs Go!

Chapter 17

April 6, 2013

Yesterday was REPORT CARD DAY! We got Rocket's newest report, and it was very good.

Well, except for this tiny little issue he seems to have all of a sudden when other dogs want to share the water bucket.  It pains me to admit this but sometimes he, um, snaps at them.

Not good.  Really not good.

But all is not lost, because his trainer says she's not seen this behavior in any other setting and they'll work on it. (NOTE TO ROCKET: KNOCK IT OFF! SHARE THE WATER BUCKET, YOU BIG GOOBER!)

But here's the excellent news!  His trainer said, "Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Rocket will be rotating through Team Training in May."  That means he might GRADUATE! I jumped up and down in excitement. "Isn't that wonderful?" I asked Marianne.

"Yup," she said flatly. "Wonderful."

Then she left for a meeting, leaving me puzzled. I expected more enthusiasm.  Huh.

Last night we had dinner with a few puppy raisers and grads and Rocket's report card came up.  There was a lot of excited chatter among the group.

"He's a star!" said Auntie Elizabeth.

"Hmmm," said Marianne.

"I just knew he had the right stuff!" said Randi.

"Um hmmm" said John.

"He's going to graduate!" said James.

"Maybe," said Marianne darkly.

James looked puzzled. He's a first time puppy raiser, so this is new to him. "I thought Team Training was when the dogs and people get matched and graduate?"

"Often," said John. "But not always."

Marianne sighed heavily. "We've been here before, with Trevin, Rolly, Hudson and Dinah. With Trevin, our first dog, I was over the moon when we heard he was going to Team Training! I sent emails to everyone and called people on the phone. I practically sent out engraved invitations to Graduation because I thought it was a sure thing! And then he was released for stress the Friday before Team Training started. I was devastated. When Rolly went to Team Training I was cautiously optimistic, and then philosophical when he didn't make a match but was held over for a third semester. That happens often, so no big deal. But then we got the call that he was released for stress a few weeks later." She shook her head. "That was hard."

"But Hudson graduated," Uncle Kevin pointed out.

Marianne nodded. "Yes he did, and that was SPECTACULAR. But we went through this recently with Dinah; she didn't make a match and was released after Team Training. So we have a long way to go before John and I are standing on stage handing over Rocket's leash, is all I'm saying." She thought for a moment. "Look, it's like you're the parent of a kid who is trying out for the Olympic Team. Yes, they have made it really far and that's very exciting. But they still have to make the team and then win their event. Having a dog get released after not making a match is like seeing your kid wipe out in the final race in speed skating. Your heart crashes the same time the kid does. You're glad he's not hurt but you're really sad he's not on the medal stand with the others."

John nodded. "So we'll just keep it low-key until Wednesday, May 8, when we'll hear if Rocket made a possible match."

"Unless the phone rings sooner letting us know he's been released," added Marianne bleakly.

Always the life of the party, our Marianne.

Well, she can be Eeyore if she wants, but I'M OPTIMISTIC!  My paws are crossed for Rocket (and his classmate, Eppie, who is also up for TT in May).

GO DOGS GO!

Chow for now!

JEB