PADS Class on Wednesdays is getting much more challenging in the older dog group! Trainer Heather and her crew were here from Calgary in early March and brought us new perch pots to practise on, but now the game is different. The dogs now receive their reward after some duration on the perch pot, and then once they get the mark, they can be bound to their handler to receive their reward. We even did this with six dogs in the room, all off-leash! We’ve practised handling other raisers’ pups and some milling leash-free. In the last class of March, we did a perch pot challenge with seven dogs participating to see who could maintain their perch the longest, leash-free. Melon claimed victory, and Roddan 2nd and Birdie came in 3rd even though she was 6 to 8 months younger than the other pups in the challenge. Hurray for Birdie!

We welcomed our newest addition to the family this month, our first grandson! Birdie gave him a sniff but was more interested in playing with their dog, Jeff. I’m sure this will change as the baby becomes more active.

We attended a couple of story times at the local library this month with toddlers and babies. Birdie joined in on the circle and settled nicely as the teacher read stories, and they all sang songs. Afterwards, she schmoozed with some of the children. It was the babies that were much more interested in meeting Birdie than the toddlers were. Great experience and exposure to children for Birdie. Afterwards, we hung out at the nearby indoor swimming pool and watched the kids play and swim.

Birdie had a great training experience at the BC Games Opening ceremonies in Vernon. We attended with six PADS dogs and raisers, milling about the arena, taking in all the sights and sounds, including people, children, dancing, loudspeakers and music. The pups represented PADS very well with their calm demeanour and were very well-mannered. (I’m sure a few popcorn kernels were eaten too).

You know that spring is finally here when the days get longer, the time springs forward, and we start to encounter ticks on our walks. I found two in my hair after a walk in Vernon at the end of March. Time for tick meds for Birdie.

Submitted by: Chris Buitinga