hugs for my best girl. [one of my favorite things, if not hers]

an update on therapy dog training:

this saturday will be riley’s last session of her current level of CLASS [Canine Life and Social Skills]. these are pre-requisites for therapy dog training in which we help riley develop skills that will be necessary in the public settings where she’ll hopefully later serve: maintaining focus amidst distractions [food, people, animals, noise, etc], being comfortable with and appropriately greeting strangers, loose-leash walking, and self-control. 

she has done beautifully in these classes so far [we’ve been at this for a year now, with a break last fall during wedding/moving/travel time], and it has been a lot of fun for me to see her improve. of course, it helps immensely that this dog will do almost anything i say for a treat.

i was emailing with the trainer this week to see what our next step should be. there is a higher level of CLASS she could complete before going into therapy dog class, but it’s not required, so i asked for the trainer’s opinion. my dog-mom heart was beaming when i got this response back:

i definitely think you and riley are ready for therapy dog class. you could take the next CLASS and focus on the more difficult elements, but if animal assisted therapy is the direction you want to head (which i would highly recommend for riley), i think you’re definitely both ready.

i’m so proud of my girl!