"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Graduate

Last night was a big event for our family: Level 1 Obedience Class final exam and graduation.

It was a double graduation for all the Monday night students: 4 black and white dogs from Level 1--Rosie, Kate, Abby, and Ruth--plus Shiloh and Brodie, the 2 puppies in the Puppy 1 class.

Ruth was the smallest one. Even the puppies were bigger than she is! She was a bit growly around those pups. Either because they were so bouncy, or because she didn't think they belonged with the "big dogs."

Ruth checks out the puppies

Before the exam started, Ruth was feeling prepared and confident.

Ruth is feeling confident

She did well on all the tests. Her highest achievement was sitting in response to a hand signal, rather than a verbal command. She was the first one to sit, and won a prize. On the "come" exercise, where she had to come to me on command from far across the room, it was a photo finish for first place among all three Border Collies. Ruth just missed winning that one, too.

She was a very good dog.

Ruth gets a treat for good work

After the exam, there was a play period. The puppies went wild.

a blur of dogs and puppies

Ruth preferred to sit on the sidelines with her good friend Abby and watch from a safe distance.

Ruth with the Chap. Look at that happy face--she just found out she's getting her diploma!

I get a diploma

Here we are in our graduation photo, looking serious, superior, and very highly educated.

proud graduates

Then there was a party with treats for everybody. Ruth's teacher says she can do anything she wants, she's such a smart doggie. We talked about Certified Therapy Dog training, and Doggie Dancing. A therapy class starts up after the first of the year, that's probably our first choice.

As soon as we got home, we showed Lola our diploma.

Lola is impressed

We had a private party--the girls got a little ice cream.

The Graduate curled up on the sofa with me to watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and went right to sleep on my lap.

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