If only we treated our fellow human beings (citizens of the world)
with the same dignity as the CGC expects of its participants.
This past week Roxie and I passed the “final exam” for the Canine Good Citizen certification (AKC). Our ultimate goal includes being a volunteer pet therapy team that makes a difference in the lives of fellow human beings in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care, memory centers, elementary school reading circles, and DeStress days for high school or college students.
With the help of an expert training team, Roxie and I learned more about each other and became more attuned to being good citizens to and for those around us.
Looking at the ten step program/test items reminded me that we can learn so much from our canine companions. If only we treated our fellow human beings (citizens of the world) with the same dignity as the CGC expects of its participants. For instance:
- I had to sign a pledge to take care of Roxie’s “health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life.”
- Test item #1 requires the dog remain calm and polite when approached by a “friendly stranger.” The dog is not to jump or growl at the person.
- Test item #3 looks for a dog that is of healthy weight, properly groomed, and alert. The handler is reminded to provide praise and encouragement for the dog. Tone of voice is important.
- Test item #5 has the team walk through a “crowd” to test the dog’s ability to remain focused and not to show resentment for those around her.
- Test item #9 tests the dog’s ability to handle distractions. Can the dog remain focused in the midst of environmental noise?
- Test item #10 demonstrates that the dog can quietly and calmly endure a separation from its person. During the separation (the person and the dog cannot see each other for three minutes) the dog “will maintain training and good manners.”
Wow. Caring for health needs and quality of life. Remaining calm, not jumping on, or showing resentment toward another person. Practicing and applying strategies to remain focused on the present and not be distracted by environmental noise.
Perhaps we should have a Human Good Citizen test.
Roxie says, “Woof!”
Video recommendation for the week:
Here is the impact of one pet therapy team. While programs may have different rules guiding therapy teams, the bottom line remains to make a positive difference in lives of others who wish to interact and engage. Hope. Determination. Comfort. Peace. Calm. Balance.
Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
For information about and to order my book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A number of colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99.
Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).
(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.