Whew, we survived our first full convention day! It was overall a really good day! This morning (it seems so long ago, was it still just today?!?!?!?) we headed over to the hotel bright and early to start the public access test (PAT) and service dog in training manners evaluation (ME). We had just a handful of people taking the tests, and at all levels– from young puppies to experienced pros.
I was so tired at first I almost couldn’t find my brain. Luckily my trusty co-tester Allison was there to help me! She only had half a brain too, so together (like Doc reminds me) we made up one functioning person he he! Giving the tests was fun and it was great to see the ME in action!
Britany had to go somewhere and I offered to hold Dylan while she ran off quickly. I tell you what, I lucked out! He is a great dog. I let him explore the room, getting some good sniffs in, and before I realized it, he was nose to table with someone’s breakfast leftovers that I hadn’t noticed. I told him to leave it, and he DID! A stranger, telling him to leave it, tempting food, yay!
Next we had the dog body language session. Man, it was the BEST session I’ve ever been to at a convention! Shana and Amy were excellent! We talked about all kinds of dog body language and went very deep talking about not only how to read your dog’s body language, but how to do so to meet the dog where they are and train from there. We went over how we can give our dogs choices and understand what they are saying to us. We had a large stuffed GSD in the room and watched body language of our dogs as this stuffed dog went around the room. It was amazing! Even Hestia was confused by the body language of the stuffed dog he he he!
We had a circle discussion about training our dogs to help us, and that was really great, too. Kyrie did a wonderful job leading the discussion, and it was really helpful, especially for the newbies!
Bit came to do a session on shaping, and that was SO fun! She explained some of the basics of clicker training, and then we clicker trained Sophia (a human) to sit in her chair! It was hilarious and a really good lesson about how our dogs are thinking and learning. Next we all worked on shaping some commands. People worked on all kinds of different commands. Hestia and I worked on “wave”, making some good progress. Some people worked on work or tasks, others on tricks, it was a great mix. Deanna was even able to teach Max to roll over using shaping after having tried to teach it to him for years using other methods.
During the dinner break, we were hanging out in the meeting room and the power went out. Christi got a call on her cell phone and went running! Turns out Hannah and Sasha got stuck in the elevator with the power outage! They were between two floors and couldn’t get out! Christi saved the day, orchestrating the entire rescue, and a few of us hung out around the elevator shaft talking with Hannah. Hannah handled it AMAZINGLY! Wow! I was so impressed!
After dinner we had social hour, and I was exhausted. I needed to be horizontal so badly that I lay down on the floor he he he. This was very confusing to Hestia! We had a great time hanging out, and especially Tami and I got to talk about dehydrating all kinds of food.
Hestia and Deja got to play a mini floor show during social hour! It was great! They are very well matched in playing styles. I am hoping we’ll get another chance to let them interact tomorrow. Just to be clear, social hour is for people and dogs don’t run around loose. We just had some on-leash playtime!
I am now completely exhausted, so I am going to finish my daily kombucha and head to bed I think!