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Bentley and I passed his Canine Good Citizen Test today. I could tell how badly I wanted Bentley to pass by the way he was behaving previous to the test as we waited our turn. I truly did not think he would pass. The tension goes right down the leash. I have to send for his AKC CGC (American Kennel Association ... Canine Good Citizen certificate and medal. I have to find the file with his papers in it to get his AKC numbers etc. I have not unpacked all boxes since we moved when Bill was so sick. Next month (Nov. 18) is the Delta Therapy Dog (local chapter Dogs On Call) test and I think he might pass it since today's test took place in a small room where 9 other dogs and their owners sat...all restless and it is very similar to the therapy dog test. The latter takes place in a large room with no other dogs or people except the evaluators. Bill and I have volunteered pretending to be "patients" with wheelchairs, walkers, dropping a bedpan on the tile floor...so the dog can prove that none of that bothers him. I treated Mr. B to a burger...plain..took all of 4 seconds for him to chow it down. We are both resting. Everyone in the 2 hour class said that after the classes they have been coming home and taking naps...it is very tiring. He is out like a light. The distraction felt good today.

Thanks for caring.

Mary

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Thank you Anne and Marty and missing him,

I did not think I was anxious (well, too anxious) about him passing. But when I saw him being totally obnoxious for the first half hour there, I knew it was me. I knew if he failed today, he would probably fail the therapy dog test next month so I had a lot riding on it as the next therapy dog test is not until February. Four dogs out of 10 failed and all those who failed were quite capable last Sunday of passing. It is interesting how the energy changed today. Thank so much for your support and enthusiasm. I TRULY appreciate it.

Love

Mary

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Mary & Bentley,

Congratulations! I'm sure he earned every bit of that burger too! Arlie could never do anything like that, that's quite a feat!

:)

Kay

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Thanks, Kay. I truly thought we would fail when we arrived. All the owners were tense in spite of our saying...whatever happens in fine...but we all worked hard and wanted success..i.e. certificate. So, the dogs were nervous. Dogs that easily did all the exercises the previous Sunday..failed miserably. Bentley was truly being tense which translated as obnoxious. He would do nothing I requested...like sit. Pretty simple. Then we were called up and he did it all...no question about it. I relaxed and he layed down and probably said, "Good, that is over. Now maybe I can get a nap in here." Mary

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I bet she would pass if you worked with her. Here is a link to the test. Bentley had developed some bad habits while Bill was sick so I had to work with him and remind him of what he used to know. I think most dogs can do this if someone works with them. http://images.akc.or.../cgc/GK9GC1.pdf I did it because I am not certain which therapy dog organization I will actually use though I plan to certify him with Delta. Others demand a CGC certificate so I am just making certain and it was good practice for Nov. 18. All dogs are lovely. Our first dog was thrown out the window of a moving truck at a dump. Our neighbor happened to be behind this truck, picked him up and brought him to us the next day. We had him 14 years and loved every inch of him. He was, according to the vet, about 85% Golden.

Love

Mary

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This is a treacherous storm. West Virginia is in a blizzard state with mucho snow coming...heavy, wet snow. In New York, a crane is hanging from the 65th floor of a skyscraper...someone blew it and did not get that thing down before the 'winds came. My sister, on the tip of Cape Ann, in Mass. is expecting a nor' easter. It is a mess. A friend was in Milwaukee today (125+ miles east of me) and took a picture of heavy clouds over Lake Michigan...the edge of the hurricane (900 miles west of New York). I think Mother Earth is up for grabs. In the meantime a friend and I are heading to a new Japanese restaurant...in Mineral Point...hope it is good as we have NO Asian restaurants out here in rural American...always have to drive to Madison for one.

I am thinking of you on what is proving to be a challenging (more than usual) day for you. Sending hugs.

Mary

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Thanks. I hope you get to the meal Mary. It's 11 pm here but as I sleep poorly i will be following the news of the hurricane. Can't help thinking it has something to do with our over exploitation of our planet. I wish politicians were capable of thinking and acting for future generations and not the next election (and I mean those of all parties and nations). Not meant as a political point believe me.

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I hope you are sound asleep as I type this. We decided the new Japanese restaurant left much to be desired but it was enjoyable to catch up with my friend who has been gone to her grandchildren's homes for 5 weeks...3 weeks out east and 2 weeks in CO.

I do agree that the weather conditions and the way we care for our planet are related. I saw a graphic that said, "While we were discussing whether the climate has changed and why, the climate changed."

Feeling pretty sad tonight...the roller coaster took off from the station again...was up today and now in a dip. And it is ok.

Mary

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Mary, I don't think all dogs have the potential to be service dogs. My Arlie seems to be ADHD, he's what they call "hyper", anxious...when he gets over-stimulated (and it doesn't take much) he doesn't hear me or anyone. He can't obey what he doesn't hear. If I try to put ear medicine in his ear, he freaks out. If I'm walking him and someone goes by with a donkey, he goes nuts...when that happens he's much like a wild bucking horse. And you have to keep in mind he is 120 lbs and extremely strong! I have been working with him for two years on being around horses, trying to teach him "horse manners", "speaking quiet" around deer, etc. He doesn't jump on people, not very often at all, thankfully. He obeys if I tell him "down". He'll sit when I tell him to but I might have to repeat myself and wait as when he's all excited, again, he doesn't hear me. He has to try to gear down and control himself, and sometimes that's hard for him. He does pretty good in the house with just me, it's outside on our walks that he gets overstimulated. And he's taken it upon himself to be a guard dog, esp. of my friend's truck. We often take him for a ride with us when we go out to eat, and he has a fit if anyone comes near the truck! He isn't aggressive and doesn't bite but THEY don't know that. This dog is more work than any dog I've ever had! But he's also worth it. The benefits I get from having him are endless. He is such a great companion, so entertaining and funny (goofy), so loving, I just adore him. And this morning he even let me administer his ear medicine without having to corner him or fight him, so he got a treat afterwards. :)

Yes this storm is powerful and devastating! I am still waiting to hear from some friends on the east coast...am still praying for everyone back there. I heard from Fred (used to be on this site) and he is okay, he's out helping others today, just like him! Still waiting to hear how Wendy made out, and Dwayne and Milan.

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I do agree with you. I did not state that correctly. I meant to say that I think it does not matter if a dog is a pedigree or a stray or whatever...in terms of his/her capability to be a therapy dog. Temperament DOES matter. Our last dog would not have qualified. Do you have him on a gentle leader? It really lends control when he meets that donkey and does not hurt the dog at all. I hope your friends are ok.

Peace,

Mary

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What has worked best for me is the Halty, which my son bought me after I got Arlie. He also taught me some tricks for helping me control him. I've also learned to keep a good eye on what's going on so I can see if there are potential problems and plan to deal with them. For instance, if I see something coming down the street that I know will freak him out, I may tether him to a fence post until it's passed, it gives me great leverage. I've also learned to pull up slightly on his collar and sometimes even have to give it a gentle twist...anything that renders him a little less mobile. Sometimes I hold the leash with one hand and pull up on his collar slightly with the other hand to get better control. When a dog is stronger than you, you have to learn to outmaneuver or outsmart him! And Arlie is smart, so that's a trick! In the house I use treats and bellyrubs as rewards, but when he's outside, there's too many distractions! I've had to really work to build his trust in me, so he'll turn to me for help instead of going to pieces. Anxiety is something I understand, as I have it, so it's second nature to want to calm him.

I've also learned to calm him with talking to him, being gentle and calm helps him calm down. My DIL, the first time she saw me do that, exclaimed, "OMG, she's a dog whisperer!" Not really, but I've learned what works with him...and he's a challenge.

Still trying to get in touch with a couple of people. I spoke with Dwayne and he is fine. :) I'll let him give his own update when he has a chance.

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Mary, super news about Bentley, I know you are so proud of him. My corgi girls could never do something like that.Their "Mom" (me) is just too wishy washy with them, they get away with too much.

I have not been on the site much lately. Been super busy, am directing a dinner theatre production of "Dashing Through the Snow", a Jones,Hope,Wooten southern comedy. Also been recouping from the foot surgery (2 toes straightened). Finally got out of the boot yesterday, and the pin in my second toe taken out. Doing real well, just been meeting myself coming and going.

If you have not read any of the books by Spencer Quinn, I think you might enjoy them. They are mysteries, but the stories are told by Chet, the canine part of the Little Dectective agency. They are such a fun read, and any animal lover will enjoy them I believe. Chet and Bently might be a little alike.

Traded off Mike's 1999 Buick Park Avenue Monday. It was a bit hard. It had 195,000 miles on it, and things were starting to need fixing pretty often. Buick quit making Park Avenues in 2004, but I love them, and managed to find a 2003 low mileage one owner, with heated seats, and other extras, and a great champagne color. According to car fax, this car has never been involved in an accident, and you can tell from the service records and the way the car looks it has been well taken care of. Probably last me the rest of my driving career, and I don't have to learn about a different kind of car!!

It all happened pretty fast, when I decide to do something, that is usually what happens. It was not until I was cleaning out the trunk to put stuff in my new car, that I realized I would never drive Mike's car again.....I teared up a little, kind of freaked out the nice young salesman, but I reasurred him I was all right.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Mary, so good to see you here. YOu do sound busy. But you are doing what you love...Believe me, Bentley gets away with stuff here at home...but out there, he has to behave and is getting pretty good at it. I am sure not driving Mke's car hit you but it sounds like you are bouncing back faster. I am also in spite of setbacks now and then. I have to say the sadness never leaves but I just deal with it better.

My sister just had that surgery...she is in the boot now, one more pin to unscrew, and 4 hours a day on a ligament stretcher. One more foot in April. It is a 4 month procedure. I hope you continue to do well. Good to hear from you. Peace, Mary

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"I have to say the sadness never leaves but I just deal with it better."

This is exactly how I feel Mary, everyday something reminds me and I feel sad, some days worse than others, but I do deal with it better, no choice really. My kids say the new car must be for my birthday, I will be 67 tomorrow....when did I start getting old!!!

Your sisters surgery was much more involved and serious than mine, I hope all is going well for her. I am walking with a sandle now, still am bandaging foot, but am walking relatively normal. The positive thing, is that during all this, surgery, etc., my sciatica problem seems to have gone away......hope it stays away!

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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I just lost what I wrote...start over :)

Happy birthday!!! 67 is late middle age...and i think a new car is a great gift to yourself. Yes, the sadness goes on. I got kicked in the teeth with it early October and can't shake it...I do distract myself and then go overboard sometimes but when the distraction (latest was elections) is gone, the pain returns with a vengeance. I feel like I stepped back into 2011...just feel like I AM sadness.

My sister's surgery was quite involved. she said the pins stay in forever but the screws that were inside the pins are slowly coming out...3 months with no weight on it. she handles it well. Sally and i are very very different from each other. She is the extrovert in the family and is always on the go and thrives on it. I am on the go more than I wish and it drains me. I plan to pull in a lot. She is using these months to do a lot of computer work and has a scooter of sorts to get around. Her husband is a sea captain and has been gone but her two daughters live in town so she has weathered it well. The first time i have seen her sit still IN MY LIFE. My mom used to say "she was born feet first and has never stopped moving." :) I am glad your foot is healing and your sciatica is gone...maybe related to how you were walking. Nice bonus if it stays gone.

I will think of you tomorrow on your 67th. My next one is 73...

Peace

Mary

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QueenMary,

I wish I lived there so I could see your production! :)

Happy Birthday and congratulations on the new (to you) Buick! My sister also has a Park Avenue, hers has low miles, she was going to turn it in on Cash for Clunkers but I talked her into keeping it, she doesn't drive very much, it'll probably last forever. Buicks have all of the amenities! Gosh, heated seats, even!

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