Saturday, April 4, 2009

Puppy Raiser Workshop/Volunteer Appreciation Day

Busy busy day! Today the NorthEast region of CCI held their annual Puppy Raiser Workshop and Volunteer Appreciation Lunch. This is the first time that I have been able to attend and I was soooo excited! The only bad thing was that I didn't have a puppy to work with since Nuri was in the kennels since she went into heat on Tuesday. Still it was a lot of fun and very informative!

In the morning we worked with the pups on different things. People broke up into a few different groups to work in different environments. Some worked on noise distractions, others on walking up and down see through stairs, and others on visual problems. They had puppies walk through a raised ladder, jump onto a table, and walk across a little platform that rocked. Our Puppy Program Manager (PPM) taught everyone how best to approach an object that the pup is showing resistance to. She told us to bring the pup closer little by little if they are afraid of it and constantly use praise to reward good behavior. There was one pup that wanted nothing to do with the raised ladder and she was working with him to get him to walk through it. One good thing she told us to do was to get down on the dog's level. They see this as a sign of equality almost and it makes it a little easier to go closer to the object that they are afraid of.

The stairs that they had to walk up and down were nice because they were ridged, metal, and see through. This gave them a few differet looks at a set of stairs which was nice. The noise portion was where they dropped different objects onto the floor to see what kind of reaction the dog had to them. If they bolted then you would bring them back to the object and use praise to get them to overcome the bad behavior. Laura Ann (LA), one of the trainers, worked with one of the pups and it was really interesting to see how the dogs reacted. Of course with LA doing it, the dog did everything perfectly!

They had a lunch for the Volunteers which was really nice and we all got a little bag of blue and yellow M&Ms with a "Thank You CCI Volunteers" ribbon on it. Very cute! Thanks CCI for that!

After lunch there were some graduates there that wanted to share their stories with us. I love to hear everyone's story about how they learn about CCI and how their lives have been changed because of their dog. It's an amazing feeling to know that I was a part of that incredible journey by raising these cute little puppies. It gives this job of mine that much more meaning to it. And I really love every bit of it!
There was also a demonstration done by Flora, one of the trainers, and Derry who is going to rotate through Team training in May. Always amazing!!
I was also able to send Ellen to the back to snap some pictures of Wilara and Nuri in the kennels. YAY! They put the two of them together which was nice, although I think Wilara is wondering why she is back with this annoying puppy again! Ellen decided to have some fun with my camera and figured out how to record video so I got a video of Wilara running around in the kennels. I love my little girl!!!

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