Tuesday, March 15, 2011


If there's one thing that Alfie misses most about being a guide dog in training, I'd have to say it's the privilege of being able to go everywhere with me.  If he's along on an outing and I have to stop by a store, he doesn't understand why he has to stay in the car with one of the kids instead of coming with me!

closeup of Alfie's face; he's panting and looking up with an interested expression
At least they don't make me wear that jacket any more!

But probably his favorite aspect of the work itself was the "finds."  Happily for Alfie, he doesn't have to stop "finding" things!  I want to do further training with him on scent discrimination, but for now we play fun games that have to do with him "finding" various items -- or even people! -- around the house and backyard.  We're experimenting with hiding things in "hard" places as well as "easy" places...sometimes we'll hide a toy where Alfie actually can't reach it, so he has to "show" us where it is, and then we reward him by giving him the toy to play with.

One really great thing about the "finding" game shown in the videos below is that, as long as the kids help hide his toy, I don't have to do anything at all, except sit with my ankle propped up -- yeah!

[Video description:  First video shows me holding Alfie with my hand over his eyes so he can't peek while Charissa hides his toy.  Then he has to sniff around til he finds it behind the entertainment center nearby (it takes him about half a minute to find).  Second video shows the end of one of these games, where Alfie finds the toy stashed in the space between the fridge and the wall, behind and on top of a folded TV tray.  When he catches a whiff of it he sort of "points" to it, then grabs it.  That was a tough one -- he's pretty excited about getting it!]


The Rhoton Family said...

Love the new blog look!

Beth and Alfie said...

Thanks! That's what comes of being forced to stay off your feet for a while...you have time to mess around with things like blog layout. ;)