Photobucket Photobucket Therapy dogs spread happiness, love, and cheer to people who otherwise might be lonely, sad or slow to heal. This is the journey of Cayman, a longhair miniature dachshund and his journey and experiences visiting becoming a therapy dog.

Did you know that pet visits often spark good memories of a person's own pets? Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world. It's been suggested by science that petting a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote healing.



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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meet the Breed- Cayman Represents the Dachshund


The coordinator for Dog Obedience Club of Lee County replied stating she does not have a dachshund for the Meet the Breeds segment at the Responsible Dog Ownership Day and has asked that Cayman represent the breed! What fun! Now I got to refresh myself on what a dachshund was bred to do since my is not much more than a foot warmer and cuddle bug, and what type of pet they make (awesome if you ask me, but my lifestyle fits what a dachshund needs, others may not). This is so exciting!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

His Bandanna Came, Finally!

Yippy! Cayman’s “Therapy Dog in Training” bandanna came just in time for this weekend’s Responsible Dog Ownership Day. With so many dog lovers around (and their dogs), it’s a perfect opportunity to get him exposed to various ages and kinds of people as well as other dogs. Since his bandanna promotes what we are trying to accomplish including the words “Ask To Pet”, it will get people to stop and ask to pet him which helps towards his CGC training test of “Sitting Politely for Petting” and “Greeting A Friendly Stranger”.

Around the country in September 2008, the AKC invites and encourages all dog and pet-related organizations to commemorate AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day by holding community events that publicly promotes responsible dog ownership anytime during the month.

The Dog Obedience Club of Lee Country (DOCLC) is holding their own Responsible Dog Ownership Day this Saturday at Bass Pro Shops in the Gulf Coast Town Center from 9am to 4pm. This AKC sponsored event is a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefit of a well behaved and obedient dog to the public while introducing them to such things as the variety of dog breeds and dog sports available. Other organizations such as dog rescue groups and search and rescue will be there as well.

The event is scheduled to start at 9 am with an obedience demo put on by the DOCLC. They are to have information tables as well as a large ring set up and will be conducting the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test in an upstairs conference room.

I sent an email off to the woman who is head of this event to see if she needed a dachshund for the Meet the Breeds. I explained to her what we are working with Cayman to accomplish and how it would benefit us but also introduce his breed. And with his unusual coloration, he is interesting.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Therapy Dog Training Starts Now!

Cayman is gonna be one busy pup. I have read and reread “The Canine Good Citizen- Every Dog Can Be One” over and over and based on the training methods outlined in that book, have devised a customized training program just for Cayman.

The book describes an 8 week training course. Well, I got much more time than that. I have 31 weeks to be exact before Cayman turns a year old and in turn can be tested for his CGC certification. So I made my own training program that consists of training, everyday, beginning today. For each of the weekly training exercises outlined in the book, I have taken them and stretched them over the course of about three weeks, four for the exercises I think he would need the most help with.

Now I just need to commit. It’s going to take patience, and time, but I think it will be well worth it. He’s a really smart boy, and if I see he has mastered a behavior (as in he performs it on command only without any assistance from me for at 80% of the time) then I will move on a little faster or throw some “tricks” in instead of the core exercises. So far he has gotten the “High Five” down. Even with those short little legs, he gets them up there!

This week’s schedule consists of the following exercises:

1. Basic Control- The 30 Minute Down: This exercise physically placed Cayman into the Down position. This teaches him who is in charge which makes all further training that much easier. It basically makes Cayman lay in the Down position up to 30 minutes. He is not to get up or break the Down until I give the “Ok” command, even if it means he has fallen asleep. Hmm. This sounds like a challenge.

2. Continue to practice the “Sit” command, which he is really good at already, just not consistent. We are to have him practice his sit at least 5 times in the session.

3. Continue to practice the “Stay” command for at least 30 seconds, 5 times per session. Cayman is pretty good at the Stay, for even longer than 30 seconds so this should be a breeze.

4. For fun I threw in the “Rollover” command. Cayman begun learning this during his Puppy Education class at Petco but still needs some practice. And of course his high five.

So that’s just week’s training scheduled. Hmm, I am beginning to wonder if I sound like on of those parents that pushes their kids into all kinds of extra curriculative activities! But then again when you break down just how long I would be tearing my puppy away from chewing up my daughter’s pacifiers and wrestling with the other dogs or chasing lizards on the patio, it really isn’t but about an hour tops. That’s about how long his Puppy Education class at Petco was and he did so well then! I think the hardest is going to be that 30 Minute Down. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Therapy Dogs Inc.

I have decided to go with Therapy Dogs Inc (TDInc.) I had a very nice phone call from the coordinator at the Healthpark Medical Center, named Barbara Leddy, who is the evaluator for Therapy Dogs Inc. She basically laid it all out for me, explaining the process I had to follow to get Cayman working as a therapy dogs. She said that the CGC was not a requirement like it is for Delta Society and Therapy Dogs International (TDI) although I still plan on getting Cayman certified as a CGC anyhow. Basically as long as the dog is well behaved and friendly they can be a TDInc dog. TDInc seems more relaxed on their rules and requirements which is a good starting point.

Here is the process I have worked out following the TDInc. requirements as well as my own personal goals with Cayman:

1. Work with Cayman following the CGC handbook. Although not all tests in the CGC are required, the more training he can receive the better.

2. Sometime around January, fill out the Volunteer Application for Healthpark Medical Center. From there I will have to attend a three hour orientation and complete a two step Tuberculosis (TB) Test and purchase the necessary shirt identifying me as a hospital volunteer.

3. After the Volunteer process, and sometime soon after Cayman's first birthday, have a CGC evaluator test him for his CGC certification.

4. Meanwhile, as long as Cayman is over a year old, I can take him to Healthpark and begin his testing as a therapy dog. Basically he is going to be evaluated by the Coordinator while interacting with the patients. He must pass three observations within a 6 month period to be considered for TDInc.

5. After three successful observations, the Coordinator signs a form which I mail off with my membership fee, which I think is $25. He is then considered a real therapy dog and will recieve a special heart shaped ID tag that goes on his collar that proudly states "I Am A Therapy Dog".

6. I will probably pursue the Delta Society as well since they have the R.E.A.D program at our local libraries. Since he will have already received his CGC certification, all I would need to do it apply to Delta Society and get evaluated by them as well. But this is an afterthought, we are focusing on TDInc.

I have already ordered a special custom bandanna that is blue with yellow lettering on it that says "Therapy Dog In Training" with Cayman's name down one side (where the bandanna comes to a point) and "Ask To Pet" down the other side of the point. This is good for when we are out and about socializing and training him to get strangers to see what we are doing and to get them to ask to pet him which only reinforces everything we are trying to train him for the CGC and TDInc requirements. The more friendly stangers he can be exposed to the better. I ordered it sometime last week so it maybe a little while before it comes. Since its all custom embroidery work, I understand I have to be patient- even if it is so hard since I am so excited to begin taking him out wearing it! Keep checking back as you know I will have pictures posted!

Speaking of exposure, Sunday I took both Cayman and Zoey to the doggy park. We were there for 5 hours!!! It was such a nice day and everyone (dogs and owners) were so friendly and the dogs were having so much fun, I just couldn't leave. My friend Alicia, who was also the trainer for the Puppy Education Class that Cayman graduated from at Petco, came too with her corgi, Kiwi. She is working with Kiwi to do therapy work too. What made the day even better was that there was a gentleman on crutches there. Exposure to people in wheelchairs, crutches, and canes is especcially important since therapy dogs are exposed to them all the time in a hospital setting. Cayman paid them no attention which is good since some dogs are fearful or will bark at such an unusual sight. It gave me even more confidence that Cayman will do well as a therapy dog. And he interacted so well with the other dogs, another plus!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Zukes Mini Naturals- You Gotta Get These!

I am so excited! I got my CGC Program Participant handbook from the AKC and my "The Canine Good Citizen- Every Dog Can Be One" book from which looks to be a great book. I can't wait to begin working with Cayman with the exercises mentioned in there today.

Since joining Petco's PetPals club, I got two coupons in the mail. One was for a free pound of treats from the treat bar and the other was for 10% my entire transaction. So yesterday while the family was on our way to Estero Community Park playground, we restocked our dog food supply (Wellness Lamb, Barley and Salmon blend this time for variety- my second bag towards my free bag program of buy 10 get 11th free), our free pound of treats, and some new all natural training bits.

These training treats are perfect! They are called Zuke's Mini Naturals Healthy Moist Miniature Dog Treats in peanut butter formula. They are tiny and meaty and low in calories which I needed in a training treat. Also they are all natural which is what I had been looking for as they have no wheat, corn, soy, articifial colors, flavors, added fat or by-products. But the best part of all? They are made in the USA and a portion of the profits go to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund! The 6 oz bag is a little costly, about $5.35 a bag, but my local Petco has been doing these over the phone surveys which after completion give you a code which then saves you $2 off any purchase of $5 of more so I used my last survey code coupon for this bag. Since I am in Petco all the time, I get these surveys on every other transaction so I will just save them for buying Zukes treats whenever possible.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dog Years- Interesting!

It is often said that people live 7 times as long as dogs so each year of a dog's life is equal to 7 years of a human's life. This is inaccurate for two reasons:

  • The longest-lived breeds have an average lifespan which is double that of the shortest-lived breeds. So one can only map years after considering the breed and other factors described above.
  • Most breeds (especially the smaller breeds) have a relatively short childhood compare to people. A small dog with an expected lifespan of 15 years would be mature (sexually and physically) within 1 year. A man with an expected lifespan of 75 years (the current approximate male life expectancy in developed countries) would have the equivalent maturity at 15 years of age. Thus the dog reached maturity in 1/15th of its lifespan whereas the person was mature in 1/5th (15 years / 75 years) of his lifespan. Consequently, while one can say that the man is living 5 times as long as the dog, so each dog year is equal to 5 human years, the first year of life for the dog sees the same amount of development as in the first 15 or so human years. For this reason, an accurate mapping of dog years to human years needs to consider factors other than expected lifespan. The following table does this, considering the different development stages and the rates at which they are reached (on average) for the different sizes of dogs.

Size and Aging

Calendar Years

Under 20 lbs (9 kg)

20-50 lbs (9-23 kg)

50-90 lbs (23-41kg)

Over 90 lbs (over 41 kg)

































































































The above table is based on averages. However, considering the additional factors (such as breed) discussed on this page would give a more accurate forecast for individual dogs. The oldest recorded age for a dog is 27 years.

So that means that a dog under 20 lbs at 5 months is about10 years old in people years, 8 months is 13 years, and so on, following the table above. Cool huh?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cayman- Future Therapy Dog

The quest to make Cayman a therapy is definitely on. I got in touch with Ann, the Lee County Coordinator for the Delta Society affiliated Gulf Coast Pet Partners and Jodie, the coordinator for the programs offered at the library. I contacted her regarding the workshops I saw posted. Part of getting certified is to completed a 12 hour workshop or complete a home study course if there were no workshops in our area. The workshops take place in Punta Gorda in October and there will be another one in the spring, dates not yet determined. Punta Gorda is about 45 minutes from where we live. Even my husband, Nils, decided he would like to attend the two day workshop so we decided to wait until the spring to enter since 1. Cayman can not be tested to be a therapy dog until he is a year old which he will be in April… and 2. The price to have both Nils and I attend together would be $100 ($75 if I went alone). Anyhow, Ann was very helpful and has us down as future students and will contact us when it gets closer to the spring workshop.

On of the benefits of the Pet Partners Team is that Cayman could be a R.E.A.D dog, as in Reading Education Assistance Dog. This is when certified dogs in the Pet Partners Team go to libraries and sit with children while they read aloud. The purpose of this is that is allows children the ability to read aloud without feeling embarrassed, after all, a dog isn’t going to laugh at them when they have difficulties or mispronounce a word. Our local libraries refer to this program as Read to Dogs Program.

How the Read to Dogs Program works is that the owners/handlers and the dogs have a blanket that they spread out and at opposite ends of the room. When a child is ready the coordinator brings them in and the handlers introduce themselves, talk about the dog, basically being friendly. Sometimes the kids are nervous around the dogs so the coordinator may sit with them, and sometimes two kids will share a book or poem and switch off reading the lines. The idea is to encourage the kids to read. The dogs are there to listen without judgment and even allow the kids to pet them which can relax them, sometimes making reading easier. They allow the parents to watch as well, from a distance, to allow the children some freedom to make those mistakes without feeling they are disappointing their parents. I love the whole idea behind this!

Jodie went on to explain in the form of an email, that some owners make these cute bookmarks with the dogs picture on them so the kids get one when they are done reading. How cute is that? I am really excited of crafting those! And she said even some of the dogs have their own books in which the owners have the kids sign their names, the date and the title of the story shared and maybe even share some comments or memories of the day. I think I would go a step further and have Cayman’s picture taken with the kids he reads with. She says the hardest part of this is having the owner/handlers sit on the floor for an hour. Piece of cake if you ask me!

I already looked on our local libraries website for future dates in which the Read to Dogs Programs were scheduled. Jodie welcomed me to stop by and take a peek of the dogs, kids and handlers in action. I have a couple dates I am considering so that will be posted on Cayman’s calendar. Hmm…I wonder if I could bring him with me? Probably not since he is not certified yet. He has some training that needs to be done before we can do that.

Jodie and Ann even recommended some location in which dogs were permitted to gain the socialization experience he will need for some of the tests listed to become certified. They included the Bass Pro Shop which is a sporting goods store (although she has only heard this through the grapevine and isn’t 100% sure- although they are the ones hosting this years Responsible Dog Ownership Day on September 27th which we will be attending); the garden areas of the local hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot, the Driftwood Nursery and the dog beaches and dog parks. They said there is even dog walks on occasion at the nature center so I have lots of options on places I can take him. Ann stated that even though I am waiting to take the workshop, I can still be working basic obedience with Cayman, which I fully intended to do anyhow. The most important commands/ actions to know are “sit”, “down”, “come”, and passing a neutral dog without sniffing, barking, or touching the other dog. Cayman needs a lot of help on this one. That’s the only time he pulls on the leash; he just can’t get over to that other dog to sniff its butt fast enough! And since most of the other dogs we have encountered could use some obedience training themselves, we usually find ourselves with some play barking and tough housing. Cayman is quite the social butterfly, those other dogs become fast friends with him, LOL.

I have also made contact with Sandy, who is a CGC evaluator. I will get to meet her in person at the Responsible Dog Ownership Day at the end of the month. I reached out to her since I know she was a CGC trainer listed online. She said they offer a CGC course through the local dog club, the Dog Obedience Club of Lee County, and do the evaluation periodically throughout the year. The training course is quite affordable, only $60 for a 6 week course which are once a week. A popular dog day care and training academy in the area charges $150 for an 8 week class. The only problem is the training location is quite some distance away from home and since its held on a workday, I don’t know if I would have time to go home after work, pick up Cayman and commute to the training location and still be there on time. But then again, I have a year before he can be tested, maybe when it’s closer to when he can be tested they will offer another location so that I could take the course right up to the time when he can be tested. Hmm… there is an idea. In the meantime I can enjoy watching the obedience and rally demonstrations that the Responsible Dog Ownership Day.

Also in the meantime, I have ordered a book on the CGC training and a book on therapy dogs. I have no doubt that by the time Cayman is a year old, he would make a perfect therapy dog candidate. I just need to keep working him everyday and expose him to as many of the situations listed in the test as possible between now and then. Wish me luck! This is quite an exciting and rewarding adventure we are about to begin!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What is the CGC I Mentioned Before?

Started in 1989, CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you'll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with-they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life.

AKC's Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program is one of the most rapidly growing programs in the American Kennel Club. There are many exciting applications of this wonderful, entry level that go beyond the testing and certifying of dogs.

Many other countries (including England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC's CGC Program. A CGC Neighborhood Model has been established, police and animal control agencies use CGC for dealing with dog problems in communities, some therapy dog groups use the CGC as a partial screening tool, and some 4-H groups around the country have been using the CGC as a beginning dog training program for children.

A number of specialty (one breed only) clubs give the CGC at their annual national dog show. Dog clubs have discovered that the CGC is an event that allows everyone to go home a winner. Veterinarians have recognized the benefits of well-trained dogs and there are some CGC programs in place in veterinary hospitals. State legislatures began recognizing the CGC program as a means of advocating responsible dog ownership and 34 states now have Canine Good Citizen resolutions.

In a little over one decade, the Canine Good Citizen Program has begun to have an extremely positive impact in many of our communities. This is a program that can help us assure that the dogs we love will always be welcomed and well-respected members of our communities.

AKC's Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program is one of the most rapidly growing programs in the American Kennel Club. There are many exciting applications of this wonderful, entry level that go beyond the testing and certifying of dogs.

Many other countries (including England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC's CGC Program. A CGC Neighborhood Model has been established, police and animal control agencies use CGC for dealing with dog problems in communities, some therapy dog groups use the CGC as a partial screening tool, and some 4-H groups around the country have been using the CGC as a beginning dog training program for children.

A number of specialty (one breed only) clubs give the CGC at their annual national dog show. Dog clubs have discovered that the CGC is an event that allows everyone to go home a winner. Veterinarians have recognized the benefits of well-trained dogs and there are some CGC programs in place in veterinary hospitals. State legislatures began recognizing the CGC program as a means of advocating responsible dog ownership and 34 states now have Canine Good Citizen resolutions.

All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program. Dogs must be old enough to have received necessary immunizations such as rabies vaccines. Owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge attesting to having the dog under the routine care of a veterinarian who will work with the owner to determine an appropriate plan and schedule for vaccines and other health care procedures.

There is no age limit for the CGC test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen. Puppies who have completed all immunizations and boosters may be tested, however, because we know that behavior and temperament can change over time, when puppies pass the CGC test, owners should have them re-tested as adults.

There are a few exceptions relating to participation in a CGC test. If the CGC test is given at an AKC show, the age requirements for the show apply to CGC also. Further, when the CGC test is administered at an AKC show, the test may be restricted to only dogs entered in the show or to purebred dogs.

Some dogs who are entered in CGC tests will have completed CGC classes or basic obedience classes. Owners who have trained their dogs themselves may also have their dogs tested. Clubs and training programs in almost every city can provide CGC training to owners and dogs who need to learn a few more skills before taking the test.

Many dog owners complete CGC training and testing as a prerequisite to therapy dog certification. While the AKC does not certify therapy dogs, we are very proud that so many CGC dogs and their owners volunteer their time to improve the lives of other people. There are national therapy dog groups (and in some cities local groups) that certify therapy dogs. Therapy Dogs International (TDI) uses the AKC Canine Good Citizen test as a key component of its therapy dog assessment. TDI can be reached at

Testing Requirements

* TDI Requirements are displayed in italics
Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The Evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the Evaluator.

The dog must be tested around medical equipment (such as a wheelchair, crutches, cane, walker, or other devices which would ordinarily be found in a facility) to judge the dog’s reactions to common health care equipment. At the discretion of the Evaluator, this part of the test may be included in any of the following tests: 2,3,5 or 9

Test 2: Sitting Politely for Petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The dog should sit at the handler’s side as the Evaluator approaches and begins to pet the dog on the head and body only. The dog may stand in place to accept petting. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and Grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The Evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog, and lightly examines the ears and each front foot.

Test 4: Out For a Walk
(Walking on a Loose Leash)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog can be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.

Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing overexuberant, shy or resentful. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not be straining at the leash.

Test 6: Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s command to sit and down, and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog sit and then down. When instructed by the Evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of a 20-foot line. The dog must remain in place, but may change positions.

Test 7: Coming when Called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell the dog to “stay” or “wait,” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog as the Evaluator provides mild distraction (e.g., petting).

Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.

Test 9: Reactions to Distractions
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as the dropping of a large book or a jogger running in front of the dog. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and/or appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.

Leave-It: The handler with the dog on a loose leash walks past food on the ground (placed within a distance of three feet) and, upon command, the dog should ignore the food. (Please note: TDI does not permit the use of food/treats during actual therapy dog visits.)

Acclimation to Infirmities: This test demonstrates the dog’s confidence when exposed to people walking with an uneven gait, shuffling, breathing heavily, coughing, wheezing or other distractions which may be encountered in a facility.

Test 10: Supervised Separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.

Test 11: Say Hello
The TDI Certified Evaluator will test the willingness of each dog to visit a person and that the dog can be made readily accessible for petting (i.e., small dogs can be placed on a person’s lap or can be held, medium and larger dogs can sit on a chair or stand close to the patient to be easily reached.)

The dog must be able to work well around all types of populations, including children. The dog's behavior around children must be evaluated during testing. It is important that during the testing the potential therapy dog and the children are not in direct contact. This means the dog can only be observed for a reaction toward playing, running or in general children present at the testing site. Any negative reaction by the dog will result in automatic failure. Negative reaction means a dog showing signs of aggression.

Additional Rules for TDI Testing
1. Dogs must be tested on a plain buckle collar or harness. Training collars, training harnesses, halties, or any other corrective devices are not permitted during testing or visiting as a TDI registered Therapy Dog.
2. Greyhounds are not required to sit for tdi testing.

Note: Potential applicants are not required to take any therapy dog classes, which are not sanctioned by TDI.

Cayman's MySpace page

Cayman has a MySpace page!
Check him out along with all his other weenie dog friends at:
We are trying to "collect" as many dachshund friends as we can- it's amazing how many are out there! And their pages are so cute!

Bye Bye Buster Collar

I removed Cayman's buster collar a little earlier than the vet recommended- like Saturday. And he hasn't made any attempt to lick or bite at his incision site from his neuter on Thursday and is obviously much happier without it. I felt so bad for him. He was trying so hard to play with his new squeaky soccer ball I bought him as a get well present and even had a hard time getting water with that buster collar on, I just had to. But anyhow, you will all be happy to hear that he is back to his old self again, hell, he was back to his old self the day after his surgery. He is quite the little trooper. Since he is feeling and acting like his old self again, we are definitely taking him to the doggy park next Sunday.

We are starting to work at home with him for his CGC certification (more on this later) so he can be a therapy dog. One of the test require him to do a "down/stay" the distance of a 20 foot lead. So I went out and bought one and took electrical tape to make off each foot on the lead. This way while he is training, we can accurately see how many feet he is able to remain in a "down/stay" before getting off his mark. I tried it out in the house since we have a really long hallway and he did it! All 20 feet! But of course today when I tried it outside, he was much too preoccupied in running in the grass then flopping down to sun himself then running off again in the time it took me to wind 20 feet of leash up in my hand. Silly dog. Definately feeling better!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun Dachshund Stuff

New Dog breeds Not recognized by the AKC, CKC or any other KC

Bloodhound + Labrador: Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly.
Collie + Malamute: Commute, a dog that travels to work.
Collie + Lhasa Apso: Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport.
Deerhound + Terrier: Derriere, a dog that's true to the end.
Great Pyrenees + Dachshund: Pyradachs, a puzzling breed.
Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel: Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle.
Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever: Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists everywhere.
Newfoundland + Basset Hound: Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisers.
Pekingnese + Lhasa Apso: Pekasso, an abstract dog.
Pointer + Setter: Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet.
Spitz + Chow Chow: Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot.
Terrier + Bulldog: Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes.


-Queen Victoria’s husband, the German Prince Albert, brought Dachshunds to England in 1839, and presented one to his new wife, a dog that she named Dash.
One of the queen’s dachshunds buried at Windsor Castle has a six foot monument atop his grave. The inscription reads:
Here is buried Deckel
The faithful German Dachshund of Queen Victoria
Who brought him from Coburg in 1845
Died August 10, 1859
Aged 15 years.

-Gergweis, Germany is known as the Dachshund capital of the world. Tourists can rent dachshunds by the hour for walks.

-The Dachshund is the only recognized AKC breed that can and does hunt above and below the ground.

-Dachshunds are eligible to enter more AKC performance events than almost any other breed. This includes agility tests, earth dog tests, field trials, obedience trials, and tracking tests.

-Standard dachshunds weight sixteen to thirty-two pounds. Miniatures are eleven pounds or less. A dachshund whose weight falls between eleven and sixteen pounds is affectionately known as a tweenie.

-A number of well-known people have had dachshunds. They include artists, John Everett Millais, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and David Hockney; screen stars Clark Gable, Christian Slater and John Wayne. Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst placed a tiny ladder and slide in the swimming pool at San Simeon in case his favorite dachshund, Helen, fell into the pool.

Jillian McVickar, 15, of Boston, Massachusetts, wrote the following poem to celebrate her love for Oscar, her miniature dachshund.

One gaze from his pleading soft brown eyes, and I knew compassion.
One touch of his silken, dappled coat and I felt comfort.
One sound of his courageous bark, and I was protected.
One kiss from his sandpaper tongue and I knew friendship.
One wag of his loving, gentle tail and I saw happiness.
One moment of his unconditional love and I felt God’s grace.


When rejected by his father he became industrious and motivated; when rejected by his mother he became proudly independent; when rejected by his siblings he became deeply compassionate; but when rejected by the family dachshund he became a complete nut case.
-from a case history of Sigmund Freud
The secret of architectural excellence is to translate the proportions of a dachshund into bricks, mortar and marble.
-Sir Christopher Wren
Man, I have been taught, was made in God's image but the dachshund, I have come to believe, was made in God's spirit.

David wants his dachshund back? Over my dead body!

Man who buys Pekinese requires great status. Man who buys dachshund acquires great status.

Dachshund Quotes
"Nothing will turn a man's home into a castle more quickly and effectively than a dachshund."
-Queen Victoria
"You say my nose, sir, reminds you of a dachshund? That is the first flattering remark anyone has made of it."
-Cyrano de Bergerac
"Wake me up as soon as you have the dachshund housetrained."
-Rip Van Winkle

Thursday, September 4, 2008

W.Y.D Contest for September

How freaking cute is this print? Its the prize for this month's drawing on "Who's Your Dachshund?" blogspot. This beautiful 5x7 print was graciously donated from KerryBeary - The Retro Modern Day Pop Shop. She owns three dachshunds of her own and wanted to share the love after spotting two of her furry friends lying on the ground, nose to nose, being adorable. The entry was easy enough, just adding the link button to their site and sending an email with pictures of Cayman. I really, really would love this print! I hope I win! Winners are announced October 1st. Cross your fingers, and if you can manage to click the link button with your toes (seeings how your fingers are all tied up at the moment) then check out more dachshund adorableness on their site!

Cayman Gets Castrated

Today was the big day. Cayman got neutered (sorry ladies, this little man if off the gene pool market now). Dr. Bradley, his vet, said he did really well and recovered nicely from the anesthesia. He was so happy to see us when we went to pick him up but looked miserable at the same time with his buster collar preventing him from licking the surgical incision. So now for the next 10 to 14 days, he is on restricted exercise (which is going to be difficult when Roxy and Zoey get in a playful mood). I also have to keep checking on the incision site at least twice a day for the next two weeks and make sure its kept clean and dry. If I notice any excessive swelling, redness, or foul discharge or if he seems to continue to be in pain or have vomiting or diarrhea or fever then I have to take him back in to the vet.

He was prescribed Carprofen for pain and inflammation which I can give to him starting tomorrow morning. In the meantime, we are keeping him calm and quiet as possible and letting him enjoy his 'get well' presents- a woolly soccer ball squeaky toy and a bag of all natural, human grade Bac'N' Cheez mini biscuits by Old Mother Hubbard (the sister company to the Wellness brand dog food he is on now). Get well soon my wittleman!!

Now to see how great my pet insurance is. I signed up for Pets Best pet insurance last month and this will be the first claim I am filing since obtaining the policy. I had Dr. Bradley fill out all the required information on the claims form and I got a copy of my receipt showing how much I paid ($219.17... eek!) and how much I am claiming. So far I am doing everything as instructed. I just hope they don't hassle me. So many insurance companies have that issue. What they cover is excellent and the rates are good but its the ease of filing claims and getting a timely reimbursement that suck. So here is my first experience with the company- let's hope its a good one!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Beach Trip

Random Pics of Cuddle Time

Cayman's First Beach Trip

I have always wanted a little beach buddy of a dog and when I got Cayman, I had big dreams of him being that perfect beach dog-one that would not be afraid of the water, dig in the sand, and chase our daughter down the beach. That's another reason he got the name the Cayman Islands- the perfect name for the perfect beach dog. Well, Cayman has proved once again that he is everything I have always wanted in a dog. He's loyal, intelligent, lovable and is now my official beach buddy.

He loved it! As soon as his feet hit the beach he was running around chasing bits of sea grass that had washed up in the past storms, digging in the soft sand, and even wading into the water chasing mangrove seedlings and leaves. It was awesome! And when he wasn't out playing, he was happily snoozing under our beach canopy in a hole he dug himself.

The only incident we had was when Shaylee, our beautiful but very stubborn 2 year old, was told to stay away from the sand spur bushes, she continued to walk closer and closer and of course, Cayman followed. Nils, my husband, my mom and I wrestled with a wet and sandy Cayman to remove about eight sandspurs from his front paws. Poor baby! He did learn his lesson though and stayed far away from all the bushes and sea oat plants after that!

I can't wait for the next nice weather day where we can all go boating again and bring along our new little beach buddy.