Pupgirl and I have been volunteers with the Delta Society since she was two, and today we had to go for our fourth retest (Delta requires retesting of the dog and handler every two years, which is absolutely essential, I think, to a successful animal assisted activities team). She is quite the talkative girl, and I admit to being nervous every time we get retested. She barks during the test, and I'm always worried they will think she's barking excessively. She is the only Samoyed in our program, and the evaluator is not used to such a talkative dog. Every year we scored well, predictable. But this year we scored perfectly and were given a rating of complex! Hooray!! I am so proud of her!! We could do actual physical therapy work with this rating, working one-on-one with a patient and a physical therapist, if we wanted to, which I don't. But I am so proud of us both with this score. Pupgirl and I are rejoicing!
I took her home after her test and went back to volunteer as a crowd person (I've been volunteering during testing for the past two or three years, and that probably helped our performance). The other volunteers admitted that they get nervous when they retest, too. But I doubt they feel the exquisite relief I feel right now. So here's my champion Pupgirl. She and I will visit at the hospital tomorrow (to take advantage of her freshly groomed glory, and she does look spectacular today--people were stopping us on our way in to and out of the test to admire and pet her).