It was yesterday.
Mama had a dream on Wednesday night that I took the Canine Good Citizen test and passed it, so on Thursday morning, she decided: why not?
When we got to work yesterday, we were lucky to find that Aunt J — a CGC evaluator — was there! So we went about our business, doing our work, and then when the time seemed right, we slipped outside to have a go at the test.
I’ve gotta tell you, I was feeling pretty good. Mama had had the dream, and Uncle C told mama that he thought I was “perfect,” so I went out there with a little spring in my step. Mama emptied all the treats out of her pockets (one of the rules), and we got started.
From the very start, I was acing the heck out of this test. Mama says Aunt J was trying to be a little tougher on me than other dogs because I am a staff dog, but she wasn’t too tough. I accepted the friendly stranger with a very polite sit and some nice blinks. I waggled my tail ever-so-slightly for the pettings, and let her pick up both of my paws, manhandle my back, ears, teeth, tail, belly, and back feet (even though I do NOT like friendly strangers touching my back feet), no problems. She groomed me with her brush and I said “Thank you ma’am, may I have some more?“
The sit and the down? Piece of cake. I basically sleep-sat and sleep-downed my way through those. The sit/stay where mama walked away was fine, I just patiently waited and did my blinky Chick eyes at mama and Aunt J. The recall was a breeze too. I love running to mama, because she always talks to me in that happy voice and gives me the best pettings ever when I get to her.
Then it was time for the loose leash walk. Aunt J told us where to go — head that way, turn left at the grill, then go straight and turn around the stump, make a right turn, then come back. What a joke, right? I am a prize-winning loose leash walker.
But oops. I got over there by the grill and the stump, and I couldn’t help but notice the scrumptious little pile of rabbit pellets on the ground, and even though mama called me away and I stayed in a loose leash, I got kind of discombobulated. I blame the rabbit. I rounded that turn, and I felt kind of light-headed. High from the wonderful smell of the rabbit poo. My manners got away from me, and when I sniffed some pee in a clump of grass, I did it: I lifted one of my legs and I peed too.
Like I said. Oops.
Turns out that peeing during one of the test items is an automatic no-pass. Well when I found that out I was so mad at that little rabbit that I shook my fist at him. Darn rabbit!
Nevertheless, Aunt J suggested that we do the rest of the test anyway, since it’s good practice and all, and so I could brag that I would have passed it except for the rabbit’s evil doings. So we continued.
Next was the part where Aunt J runs around acting all crazy, throwing buckets and walking crooked with a cane, and I have to shake it off like it’s nothing. Well that was easy because it was nothing but silly Aunt J. Then, some of the other people came outside to make a crowd, and I had to walk in between them while they were wandering around mumbling nonsense. I think I heard somebody saying “Peas and carrots, carrots and peas.” Totally silly, right? So, that one was easy too.
Then we got to the dog-dog meeting part. A few years ago, mama would have thought I could NEVER do that part right, but boy oh boy did I ace it. Let me tell you how muchly! Aunt J got a silly young Catahoula who is supposed to be a CGC herself, and we began. The idea is that me and mama and the other person and dog approach each other. Everybody stops, and me and the other dog aren’t allowed to pay each other any mind. Mama and the other person shake hands, exchange “Hi, how are yous,” and we go on about our business. Well you will never guess what happened. We got to each other, and I sat there like the perfect gentleman that I am, and the Catahoula sprang through the air right at me to say hello! I mean, I know I am the most handsome Chick of all Chicks, but come on girlfriend, where are your CGC manners? I was horrified! But being the gentleman that I am, I kept my horror to myself, and continued to sit there like a perfect mister. We did another pass, and this time the silly girl got it right (probably because I had reminded her how). Another ace in my pocket.
The last item was called a supervised separation. It means mama goes away and I get to stay outside wooing pretty Aunt J and asking her for pettings. I don’t even get why that’s a test item. It’s more like a prize if you ask me! Obviously, I rocked and rolled that one big-time.
So there you have it! A bittersweet win/loss. Aunt J said I totally aced every item on the test, except for the peeing no-no.
So mama and I went home and had ourselves some dessert, and dreamt of future tests. With no evil rabbits.