Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Little Dog That Could

It's over. It's finally over. After months of hard work, I can finally stick those three lettters where I always knew they'd eventually belong:

MARGE, CGC.

Marge totally outperformed herself tonight. I really don't think it could have been much more perfect. A dog that, just months ago, growled and ran away when someone approached her, was able to stand nicely for petting. I think that is what all fearful dog owners strive for as one of the ultimate goals in their dog's rehabilitation.

We started out with sits and downs, went fine. THEN we progressed to tests 1, 2, and 3. Marge was perfect for accepting a friendly stranger. She was a little timid for the petting, but tried her hardest to stand in place. She accepted brushing just fine, but it did take a bit to get through the paw exam. I thought that was going to do us in - I just couldn't get her to stand still. The evaluator touched and held her paws a bit and then that was it.

Staying and coming were fine, as they always are for Marge. Walking on a loose leash was fine, though I thought our left turn was a bit sloppy. Walking through a crowd was PHENOMENAL. I mean, super loose leash, paying no attention to anyone else, totally focused on me and where I was going. Reaction to distractions, too, was perfect.

Reaction to another dog - she didn't give a hoot about Tanner - and that says alot, because she's always liked playing with that little bugger.

And then, that was it - time for supervised separation. Handed my leash over to Fred's (now also a CGC) mom, had Marge in a down stay and walked into the office. Sure enough, I heard a dog crying, thought it was Marge. But someone peeked out the window blinds where the dogs couldn't see and saw just what was going on..

..Marge was cool as a cucumber, remaining in her down-stay for the full three minutes. Barely moved a muscle when I came back, too.

I know that to many people who have been training and competing for years and years, the CGC is no big deal and nothing really to get crazy over. But, being Marge is my first (and shy) dog, she is very special to me, and this milestone that we reached tonight really means a ton.

My mom had tears in her eyes at the end of the test when the evaluator came up to me and said "Congratulations," and I'm not ashamed to admit that I did, too.

I have never felt closer to Marge and I feel like this is just the beginning of a long and loving relationship between the two of us. Now, it's on to bigger and better things. Agility starts Tuesday night and I hope Marge has a blast, because she deserves it.

4 comments:

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart April 20, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

Congratulations! We're so jealous.

NCmountainwoman April 21, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

CONGRATULATIONS!!! To Marge and to you. It takes a lot of effort on your part as well as hers. Way to go!

Martha May 6, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

I feel your satisfaction and pride.
well done, to both of you.
.............next goal?

Sue May 7, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

Congratulations, that's a big accomplishment. I so wanted to get our CGC with Samba, but she screams when I leave the room. Other than that small problem, she does great. Oh well, maybe one of the others.

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