Monday, February 7, 2011


I was going to post about getting Spirit and all that, but today made me realize that HE wanted to talk.

I woke up this morning with a shoe in my face.  He had run downstairs and brought it up to me.  At breakfast he kept picking things up and bringing them over (much to the cat's dismay) so I guess he was bored and wanted something new to learn.

Unlike a book or a computer, once a Service Dog is considered "fully trained" you don't stop.  See, to them, all this "work" is one big party.  But if it is the same thing day in, day out; they want to do something else fun!  As I had been dreading cleaning my mom's basement the two of us went downstairs to "play".  Our area of attack was the laundry zone.

So Spirit likes to pick things up, as today's zoomies showed, and I figured we would build off the "get it" and "hand it" commands.  He also knows "paws up" which means to put the front paws up on a surface and then stand up, balancing off of whatever his paws were on.

I'm not sure if I stated this but Spirit is a Poodle.  A 80+ lbs standard poodle.  They are spazes, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Spirit goes around with the theme song to Indian Jones in his head . . . all the time.  So we worked on "in the basket" with the washer being where, I hoped, things would go.  There was first some confusion.  Pick up item.  Drop item as he pawed up. Couldn't figure out why there was no cookie given.  After about 3 tries the light bulb went on.

Suddenly he was zooming back and forth picking things up and dropping them in the washer.  This list was something like this:
  • clothes
  • old dryer sheets
  • empty detergent bottles
  • hangers
  • a slipper
  • paper
  • and the shirt I was currently wearing that he tried to tear off to "put in the basket"
At the end of the third load he had it down pat and, finally, was tired out.  We did some removing from the dryer, but that ended up as victory laps around the basement.  Defeating the who purpose of making them clean.
He's such a good poodle.

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