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Open Doors - Winter 2011

Gideon's Corner


Again it has been a long time. For you new readers, I am SSD Gideon, a 9 year old black lab who is a demo /therapy /interview dog. I live with Nancy and Robert and generally spend a significant amount of the workday hanging out. I love chasing tennis balls and hiking and snuggling on the sofa and under the covers on a cold night.

Since my last column, life keeps whizzing by and I am happy. Lately, I am meeting a lot of new dogs, pups and people. Actually, I prefer the people because they are so friendly and often have treats. But let me tell you about the dogs. Some new ones are so worrisome that I basically spend time on “The Bed” which is on the second floor and few dogs will climb the spiral staircase. Then there were the two puppies that came last week. Robert (he throws the ball for me daily) and Nancy picked them up in Baltimore but they are from Maine. We named them after towns in Maine, Camden and Castine. They actually came from Cedarwood Kennels in Maine where my old friend SSD Cubby (Cindi Lashinsky's old friend and partner) came from. As I left the house to potty they were determined to come with me and thinking I might be a female, have a little snack. How wrong they were and I had to run quickly to the other side of the building just to relieve myself. It was annoying. Maybe if they stayed longer, I would appreciate their cute faces and sharp teeth.

I have some regular jobs around here. I have been helping a lot with the special puppy raiser/puppy sitter classes which are at the kennel, a.k.a. my house. I help Nancy with my favorite—Beginning Clicker Training but Shaping is good too. I love it when people drive up, come in and start clicking. The best is when I get to work with them because I always get treats and make them happy.

My second job is going with Lorrie Delp to Capitol Area Headstart Classrooms. I get to work with the kids and have a great time. It can be tiring but it is rewarding. I hope I do everything that Laurie wants because she is a great person. I get to go up and down slides, read books, show everyone how I know my colors and walk with the kids. The kids learn to share, take turns, communicate, take care of others and love me. It is great fun; I just love children and I only see the grandchildren occasionally because they are in Colorado.

My third job is doing interviews. This time I meet new people, get treats and do things like retrieve—all of which I love. Sometimes this part of my job is very easy but a while ago a person threw his sneakers at me and he had large feet. I did survive that day. The best part is when I visit team training and there they are getting their canine partner. It is wonderful.

One of the most important parts of my job is doing demonstrations. This introduces the community to SSD; I have to be on my best behavior and do an awesome job. Usually I go with Nancy but not all the time. It seems like I am doing fewer of these so if you know a group who would like to learn more about SSD, just contact Vikki at the SSD office. She will set it all up and keep me happy.

On a final note I want to sadly say goodbye to my friend Cubby. We spent a lot of time together the last 7 years and I miss him. He told me he was bothered by a cough but I never knew he was so sick or thought that he would be gone so soon. I hope he has gone to wonderful place and is having a great time somewhere. He deserves it—he was an awesome dog.

'Til next time,


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