Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Road Trip!

Here's a "catch-up" post. We went back home to Indiana to visit my Mom with the girls in May. Maggie slept the whole 15 hours, Penny hyper-ventilated for 12 of the 15 hours: despite herbs, a Thunder Shirt, and all other suggestions. We arrived on Mother's day and invaded my Mom's small apartment.

Upon introduction, the girls made an impression - "Wow! Your dogs SIT!" This was rather funny to hear. I was annoyed with Maggie because she was pulling harder than she should. I forget that I have a very high bar on behavior!

We put on a performance for my Mom's independent living residents and a large number of assisted living people came over as well. We got a great turn-out: people on two sides of us. It was the first time I had ever done this and I was nervous. Luckily the girls were wonderful! Penny did her "Singing in the Rain" debut. She did great considering all the distractions.

Maggie did her "Agila-Dance" routine to "76 Trombones". I brought some jumps, a short tunnel and Kim's weave poles (thank you!!). Maggie did a great job especially considering she was really sliding on the carpet. When we warmed up she was sliding all over. I put on her boots and it was just as bad. So I had to really slow down her down in the routine.

I also did a short hunting demo with Maggie for the crowd explaining the origins of poodles. People really enjoyed it. I demonstrated a bit of obedience with Penny - not too much to bore people!

I brought both girls out together which was new for them since I work with them singly. People asked questions and everyone had a great time. The facility's organizer Nan was thrilled with our program.

After the show one resident with very young great children stayed and Maggie "adopted" herself a little boy. It was sooo cute to watch. She'd bring the ball to him, put it in front, and patiently wait for him to throw the ball!

Not bad for a pup that couldn't figure out toddlers earlier in her life ("what's up with these short people?!?!")

The next day we went to the "Memory" building. Early stage Alzheimer's patients were in that locked facility. I didn't know what to expect - I thought we'd be going to individual rooms as we do back home every week for therapy dog work. I decided to "visit" Maggie and have Len hold Penny. Technically I can only visit with one dog at a time. I was surprised when I walked in on a large space rings with chairs and lots of people. Probably 20. Maggie never visited this way before and she was a champ! Everybody wanted to pet her at once.

Since I had room, I put Penny through a lot of dance moves. Everyone loved that. Penny was great - even better than the performance the day before. I considered to bring my music - I should have.

At the end of the week, over a dozen photos of our performance were on the TV - the facility has its own TV channel. It was all very exciting and the girls did fantastic.

My Mom loved seeing Penny again (she wanted me to leave her) and thought Maggie was pretty funny.


Anonymous said...

I loved the write up of your family trip to Indiana. The Poodie Girls are really very special, and I’m sure everyone enjoyed their performances. You have done wonders with them, and the many activities you have trained them for is a real testament to the versatility of the Poodle breed (and your understanding of your great dogs). Thank you for sharing the details with all of your devoted fans. Queen Kathryn

Anonymous said...

Way to go Maggie, Penny, and Debbie! I'm so proud of all of you!

Your Pals, Kim Jet and Zoe

Kerri Jean said...

What a fun break from their normal routine to see the girls. I am sure you made many friends and memories during that trip and their performances.