Sunday, August 9, 2009

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First Monthly Meeting: Theater Training

On Saturday we went to our first monthly AC meeting that was run by the new Tampa area coordinator Jan (who is a high a school teacher and has a smooth coated collie puppy). Jan runs a great meeting. Of course, how can a meeting at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center be bad? And let me say now that TBPAC is AMAZING to let us come do a guide dog training meeting there!

The new diaper bag got its debut and it did a wonderful job. I like it. Here is Fred and Bingo at the beginning of the meeting. Bingo was a bit disappointed that other members of his litter weren't at our meeting.

The next photo is of Fred walking with the 5 months and under puppies to TBPAC to ride the elevators (which Bingo has done, thank you very much!) and try stairs (again, done it!) and theater seats (that will be new).

When we got in to TBPAC we went over to the elevators on the far right. on the way there there were a few accidents, quickly cleaned up, but Bingo held it together and didn't have any accidents. He was very interested in playing. I think he was more interested in playing and how he could get away from Fred to get closer to a puppy to play than to let loose and pee/poo, thankfully for us!

We made it without incident to the elevators where Fred and another lady with her puppy got on. Notice that we don't have green shirts. We want some green shirts. I think there was a mix up when we picked up Bingo and we didn't get our official green puppy raiser shirt (which is super cool). So we have an email in to our area coordinator about it because we are seriously jonesing for a puppy raiser shirt! 8-)

Once you get on the elevator, then you go up and get off. So I ran up a flight of stairs so I could get the shot of them coming off the elevator!

After that we tried to work on stairs, but Bingo was more interested in playing and balked at doing a flight of stairs (stubborn streak surfacing!), so we rode the elevator to the bottom and finally got him to go up and down the set of three stairs on the ground floor.

One of the things you realize when you get your "perfect dog" with other dogs is that your dog is not perfect. Nor is he scary smart. He is just a really good dog. 8-) There were some younger dogs there who were better behaved than Bingo was. Bingo definitely showed that he had a stubborn streak. He has this thing about not wanting to do things, like stairs, so he just stops and looks at you. And then he backs up. Then you have to put on the happy mommy voice, Come on, Bingo, let's go! This is how we found out that we are not supposed to say Come on. Because, Come is a command. Of course! We KNOW that. We have been teaching him that. And yet, it didn't click until Marcy in a very kind voice said, "You shouldn't say come on since you are going to be teaching him the come command." Doh!

So here I am leading him down stairs, at this moment he decided to follow me. Then we have them find a chair, sit, down, and then we sit down. Eventually, they will be sitting underneath our chairs in a theater. But for now, it was enough that he got experience with moving chairs, sitting by me, walking in narrow aisles.

It was a very big morning for him. Here he is tired out underneath one of the theater chairs. When we did do the walking/leash management exercise, I think that Bingo and I did the worst. I don't know what
happened, but neither of us was on our game. I'm going to go with overtired and needing a nap. That's our story and I'm sticking to it.

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