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Friday, April 2, 2010

Rosie says, "I'm done!"

My opinion about Rosie is that she got tired of waiting in "holdover."  

After we returned Rosie to Leader Dogs for the Blind in July of 2009, she worked her way through the required four training phases and by January, 2010 she was ready to be placed with  her "person."  A group of vision-impaired people come to the Leader Dog School every month to be matched with a Leader Dog.  They live on campus for 3 1/2 weeks; here they are taught not only how to care for their dog, but more  importantly, how to trust their dog and function together as a team. The school always has more dogs ready than the number of people to assure that personality, life-style, and ability are well-matched with their dog.

"Rosie has a too-fast pace."  

That's what I was told when I learned that Rosie hadn't been partnered with a person in January.  What did that mean for her?  Now she was in "holdover" status--she had to wait until a new group of people came to the school in February.  No match in February.  No match in March.

I knew that Rosie was spirited, but she had been eager and focused in her preparation with me, if always READY TO GO.  A good puppy is a "tired" puppy, so I expended plenty of my own energy getting her pooped out.  She studied her Basic Obedience diligently; she knew "sit," "down," "stay," "mat," "come," "wait," "give," "take," "park," "leave it," "kennel-up," "settle," and "heel" (ok, so it seemed that I walked backwards more than forwards most of the time).  She was loyal--I wondered if we should have named her "Shadow."  I thought that my first FLD Rosie was great!

But.  After three rounds of holdover, the fine team at Leader Dogs decided that Rosie could not be placed.  Too distracted by dogs and other people, and worst of all, she started "parking" in harness.  I think Rosie decided that she'd had enough.  One sure way to avoid working is to defecate on the job!

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