From Mary Brown Haak...
I am pretty convinced from his behavior that Shen had never lived in a house when he got here. He was fascinated with toilets, refrigerators, radios, furniture, brooms, and just about everything else. We started our basic obedience class at the Warrenton Kennel Club just nine days after he came home with me. The instructors and I talked extensively and they warned me that because we had not been together very long and because he was much older than the other dogs, training was probably going to be much harder for him but not to get discouraged. He was very nervous the first couple sessions and not at all food-motivated, and while he did everything I asked, it was always with a little apprehension. We had a rough couple weeks. And then he found a squeaky sheep under the couch. After that, he just pranced around the ring and paid total attention to my every word because I had his squeaky sheep and Shen LOVES his squeaky sheep. All the instructors were absolutely amazed at the progress he made in 8 short weeks. I ran into the lead instructor at First Friday in Warrenton last week, and she said that Shen is her favorite of all the dogs she's had in all her classes over the years. The week after finishing basic obedience, Shen took his Canine Good Citizen test and breezed through it. Two weeks later, we took the Therapy Dog International certification exam and he breezed through that too.
Two weeks ago we started our therapy work at a local nursing home. The residents and staff all adored him. This afternoon he started his second therapy job as a "Tail Waggin' Tutor," letting the kids read to him at the public library. Shen had about a dozen kids read him stories, and one little boy who couldn't read showed him pictures and identified what each of them was. Shen loved it, and the kids did too.
This is one great little dog and I absolutely love him to pieces! My friends, neighbors and family all adore him. People stop me on the streets when we are out and about and comment on what a beautiful and well-behaved dog he is. My old coworker insists she wants a dog just like him. (I told her he is one-of-a-kind and she's just out of luck!) He charms everyone he meets. I don't know why it took so long for him to be adopted, but I sure am glad he waited for me.
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