Denver - July 18, 2013
Woe is me, not even a year old yet (August 9 is my birthday - mark your calendars!!) and the pressure is intense.
First, Marianne's boss, Art, came into her office this week for her mid-year review. To my utter surprise, Art pointed at me and said firmly, "You too, buddy." Color me surprised. On the outside Art acts all tough-guy gruff investigator but on the inside (around dogs) he's Mr. Marshmallow. Usually he pets me and talks in that funny voice humans sometimes use with dogs and babies. I was so stunned by this unwelcome turn of events that I put myself to bed in my crate. I lulled myself to sleep with the mantra, "I'm a good dog…I'm a good dog…"
I guess I passed, because when I woke up Art was gone. Marianne told me he'd asked a few questions about my progress and she'd assured him I was doing well. Whew.
But THEN on Tuesday evening Marianne told me I'd been accepted into a pilot program with Canine Companions for Independence and Dognition.
"Pilot program?! I don't want to fly airplanes, that's not even in the list of possible CCI jobs," I wailed. "I'm too young. I'm not ready for this!"
"Calm down! A pilot program means it's something new CCI is testing with a small group of puppies and a company called Dognition," Marianne told me. "There will be no airplanes."
"Well, that's a relief." I grumbled. "Wait, TESTING? I haven't studied! What tests? Tests for what?"
Marianne blew out a sigh. "Relax, it will be fun." She pulled out her laptop and turned it so I could see the screen as she read aloud, "Fun, structured games lead to surprising new insights into your furry friend." She patted my head. "See? Games, fun, probably treats. OK?"
I shrugged. "I dunno, it sounds good, but I'm reserving judgment until we've played a few of the "structured games" which don't sound fun at all. I think I'd rather just play a regular, unstructured game of fetch outside, if it's all the same to you."
Marianne shook her head. "Nope, we'll play fetch but we still have to participate in the pilot program. It will help CCI gather meaningful data on their puppies in training. We'll start later this week, after I've registered us and checked out what's involved in the games."
I ignored her. Structured games, bah.
"I'll break out the really yummy treats," she wheedled. "Your favorites."
"The chewy fruity ones?" I felt myself starting to drool a little bit. "Pumpkin mango flavor?"
Marianne nodded. "The very same. Feel better?"
I nodded and sighed. She drives a hard bargain, she does. I'll let you know how it goes. If you want to try it with your dog, here's the link: http://www.dognition.com.
Chow for now!