Mom has been wanting to get me tested for the Canine Good Citizen certificate, because she has plans to take me to schools, nursing homes and hospitals. I like the sound of this plan, because it means I can spend more time with her instead of being left behind when she goes to these places.
It has been an uphill battle to get me tested. Mom first checked the AKC website list of approved testers in our area, and was surprised that there were 2 listed within 15 miles. (That's super close, for our rural area.) She emailed them, and they never responded. In fact, they still haven't, and it's been over a month. Kind of not cool. Back to the list to email more people, and call PetCo. Mom is now awaiting email responses from 4 people about the CGC test, and is wondering if these people should be reported to the AKC for not being available anymore. A 5th person said they could definitely do the test, and asked all sorts of questions to be sure I was ready, but after the answer of "Louie wasn't trained anywhere, I did the training myself" by mom, the emails stopped.
PetCo #1 said they did the test and it was $100. Mom questioned that, and reiterated that we only needed the test done and not the class, and the employee said yes, it was $100.
PetCo #2 said that I had to enroll in a class first even though I was already trained. Mom questioned this, saying it was a waste of time and money, and they put her on hold and tracked down a manager who said that the AKC requires that a dog have proof of taking a class before it can test for the CGC certificate.
Mom hung up, logged onto the AKC, and confirmed that they lied. My vet recommended someone, so mom called her, and she referred us to a local who was a certified tester. This was one of the people we were awaiting an email from, so now we're awaiting a return phone call as well as an email. Fun, huh?
BIG HUFFY SIGHS.
PetCo #1's trainer called out of the blue the other day. She apologized for the delay in getting back with us. (How kind!) She said she could do the test for us and it would cost $10. There would be no classes involved, either. So that's what mom and I did today. I went to the pet store, walked with mom up and down the aisles, shopped, met other dogs and people, waited with the kind employee while mom checked out with a Steelers jersey for me (not part of the test, but mom was multi-tasking while being away from me for 3 minutes), and I got brushed, too.
At the end of the test, the kind lady had to drop some things to be sure I wasn't going to freak the heck out. She went outside the enclosure that mom and I were in, and dropped a metal food dish. I perked up my ears, because I KNOW WHAT THAT SOUND MEANS. Then she dropped a large book. I looked at mom and yawned. When she dropped the folding chair, I looked up to see what fell, but then realized it wasn't my job to pick it up. The lady was super impressed, because she'd not seen a dog be so calm in the midst of such noise.
"We have 5 kids," mom said. "There's nothing you can do that our dogs haven't been subjected to already." And mom is so right. Life in my home is the best social training ever.
So it's official, guys. I have been certified as Better Trained Than Most Kids. Including the boy that I love so very much, but is also the most stubborn little 12 year old ever. He doesn't even sit when he's told without treats involved. True story. Mom is wondering if there are obedience classes for little boys with Stubborn Issues.