S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
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S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
It is always exciting to watch the agility or obedience competitions at any show. Marveling at the well-trained dogs makes one realize just how much intelligence they possess. Working to please their owner, while gaining the confidence of just what they can do, is amazing to any spectator.

Consequently, when Ann asked me to observe the CGC event at the National this year, I was happy to oblige. It was being held after all the other events were completed the first day. A few friends went along for company. Ann has applied and become an AKC evaluator for this test. It will be a next step for the folks that complete her Puppy Kindergarten classes, a very special step that gains an AKC title for some of these people.

The evaluator introduced herself to me. She walked me through the stations set up for the competition where a typed explanation of each requirement was posted. So far, not anything threatening. My friends kept encouraging me to get Rush and watched as I read each requirement thinking, Rush could do #1, Rush could do #2, Rush could do #3 and on until I got to the setup where he had to sit, down and stay on command. Now, those of you who know me even slightly, put up with the fact that I think Rush is a “wonderdog.” Most of us have at least one “special” animal living with us. He is my very, special boy.
Cold Turkey CGC
BUT…he has never had any formal training in obedience, etc. Of course, he walks on lead, has been to my mother’s assisted living complex, went with us every day to Aunt Margaret’s nursing home greeting all the other residents and is, generally, a super boy. OK, we’ll try this thing. If he doesn’t make it, it’s not a big deal, right?

While I filled out the paperwork, my friends went back to the RV to get Rush who walked in “cold-turkey,” He had no preparation in advance. And, so, we began.
As I thought, he easily accomplished stations #1 through #5. Then, came the sit/down/stay part. Amazingly, after one practice try, he passed that one as well. Now, on to #7 through #10. All went well, even when I had to separate from him for 3 minutes at the last station. Then, Daddy Dick came walking into the ballroom to see what was going on. I saw him enter the room, could not call to him because Rush would hear me and just had to live with what happened next. Rush, not knowing where I was, saw his dad and started to cry. Luckily, he did not try to leave the evaluator. She asked, “Is this a family member?” and my friends pushed Dad out of the room. What a riot!
Rush continued to cry a little, but finally composed himself, and the 3 minute countdown continued. After what seemed like an eternity, as anyone who has been through these timed requirements can attest, I was called back into the room. Rush was glad to see me but not as glad as I was to see him. He walked out of there with a new title. He is now American/Canadian Champion S’Dandi’s On Loan From God, CGC. His new certificate hangs next to his championship certificate and picture on our doggie-photo wall. It gives me pleasure to see it each day.

The best part of this experience for me, is to know that an animal who learns to behave well in a home, has many experiences that provide confidence, is trustworthy and loved, can and will be able to accomplish new goals even at 6 years of age. Rush continues to make me very proud of him. As I said earlier, he is my “once-in-a-lifetime” dog.

For those of you who might be interested in knowing more about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test, check out the AKC website at www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm.

Who knows? You just might come home with your new “wonderdog,” too. Give it a try.

I think Rush and I will investigate the Therapy Dog Test next. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as the old saying goes.