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Sunday, 11 March 2018

What does your dog do? (2)

Yesterday, I showed how Liggy comes downstairs on a morning and lifts the footplate on my stairlift. The next thing she usually does, is perhaps her easiest task of all but she does this a lot for me, at various points throughout the day. She does it a lot at work. She does it in church. She does it in restaurants...

Being unobtrusive

Photo of Liggy lying quietly in her bed

It would be easy to forget the value of this one because it's not a task at all really. However, can you imagine what my work life would be like if Liggy wasn't able to settle quickly and quietly, wherever I need her to? In reality, she does a fair bit of this in my office...

Liggy lying quietly in my office

In the morning, she generally lies quietly while I have my breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee. Then we change rooms and she lies quietly again while I do physio. Of course, if something were to happen... if I were to drop something, she would be up in a shot!

Retrieving dropped items

It's pretty much impossible to video this in a real situation because even though I drop things all the time, I rarely have my phone to hand and ready to video it. She is just too quick for that. Here's a quick clip of her retrieving some items. I picked a pencil, a highlighter pen and a loyalty card. A pencil is thin but otherwise, not too tricky. She does pens too. The highlighter pen is quite tricky because it's slippery and a funny shape. The loyalty card is really thin and small. If she wanted to, she could probably eat it... but she knows it's mine and it doesn't smell of food, so she hands it straight back to me.

At some point, I should count up how many things I drop during a normal day. Keys, pens, money, cards... That's why this was her first task that she learned. I would guess that this is the most commonly taught and used task for Canine Partners.

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