Denver - March 1, 2013
The first of the month is grounds for excitement in these parts. Bet you don't know why, do you? Yeah, I didn't either until January 3rd rolled around.
You remember my predecessor, Rocket, right? He went to Canine Companions professional training (aka college) in Oceanside, Calif. last November. As it turns out, puppy raisers get report cards for their dogs at college around the first of the month. There's a lot of fretting and worry that goes on before the first report card arrives a month and a half after Turn In. How's the dog adjusting? Is he studying hard? Who is his trainer? Who is his roommate? Did he pass his health tests? How did he do on the temperament tests? That first report card covers a lot of territory and provides a lot of information and a measure of comfort for a puppy raiser who hasn't heard A SINGLE WORD ABOUT HER PUPPY FOR SIX WEEKS. Not that I'm talking about a specific puppy raiser, or anything. *cough Marianne cough*.
So we received a report card January 3rd that said Rocket passed all the health and temperament tests, was rooming with Timber and his trainer is Sara.
He was working on basic commands and had gone on a field trip to Petco. He was also "barking and whining" in the kennels, which is a surprise since he was a pretty quiet fellow at our house. Oh, and Sara was working on his "excitable greetings."
In early February we got his second report card. Rocket is learning "Push" and "Hold." He's still barking and whining, and his excitable greetings have not diminished. ("Well, they named him ROCKET," John pointed out.) He also got reprimanded for sniffing the ground and shelves on a field trip to a store, which I think is really kind of unfair. However, Sara said he EXCELS at the retrieve and channels his energy nicely into working and is progressing well with his skill work. So a darned good report card, all things considered. I personally think we should get extra credit points for nose work, but nobody asked for my opinion.
This past Wednesday Marianne was checking her Facebook page when I heard an outraged shriek. Dewey was so startled he fell off the couch with a loud THUMP.
"Are you OK?" I asked him anxiously.
He shook himself and fluffed out his tail. "Yeah, I guess so. I wonder what that was all about?" We both looked at Marianne, who was glaring at her laptop.
"Twelve days. TWELVE DAYS," she said bitterly.
Dewey jumped to the arm of the chair and we peered cautiously at her Facebook page. "Twelve days?" I wondered.
She pointed wordlessly at a posting from a puppy raiser in the North Central region. I read it and shook my head. "I still don't understand what you're so worked up about."
Marianne sighed. "OK, you know that CCI has five regional campuses: Southwest (ours), Northwest (Santa Rosa, Calif.), North Central (Dublin, Ohio), Northeast (Long Island) and Southeast (Orlando). Now, a lot of what happens at CCI is standardized and the same across regions. But, there are regional differences that sometimes frustrate us puppy raisers. This is a good example." She pointed at the post. "Mary Beth turned in her puppy less than two weeks ago, TWELVE DAYS AGO, to be precise. And she says she got her first puppy report today."
"Ah," said Dewey. "You're jealous."
"Well, sure," Marianne said. "In the Southwest region we wait for 42 to 49 days for our first reports and they're usually pretty vague, telling us the dog passed the health and temperament tests, but that's about all." She pointed to the post again. "Mary Beth says, "Kieran showed some insecurity/fear of the stuffed lion in the temperament test and pranced over the dog food on the floor." She shook her head. "We never get details like that and certainly not within two weeks of Turn In!"
"My advice to you is to get over it," advised Dewey. "You whine about this kind of thing all the time. Just accept the fact that there are regional differences and deal with it."
Marianne sighed. "You're right, I can't do anything about it." She brightened. "However, we should get Rocket's third report card on Friday. He's made it to second semester, so that's encouraging."
Today is Friday. March 1st. Report card day. Except it wasn't. No report card, and I think Marianne checked her email every 15 minutes or so, all day long.
"More torture," she grumbled. "I bet the puppy raisers in other regions got their report cards."
Dewey sighed. "Deep breaths," he told her. "Chill. It will probably come on Monday.Go take a nap or something."
(sound of fingernails tapping)
Marianne is not a particularly patient person. It's gonna be a long weekend.
Chow for now!