In no particular order, the VKC adopts out Bloodhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Labradors, Australian Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chihuahuas, Bichon Frises, Newfoundlands, German Shepherds, Dobermans and Chow Chows. (You can't get the hyenas any more unless somebody's feeling really generous.)
When Steelhead's Port Harbor was being pre-booked, I wrote to Mister Genosse about opening a dog park in Steelhead - and instead, he suggested I run it! We worked out arrangements to pay for the land, I started landscaping it into a space for people to enjoy the view as well as the dogs, and eventually when our schedules synched up, he gave me the Trainer test and the contract!
Without trying to make fun of Mister Genosse, it was kind of funny. The current trainers, especially Rosanna Himmel, did a really good job of preparing me over a series of about four training sessions. The test was to teach the dog a trick - pick up a frisbee, go around a pole at one end of the space, then cross back, go around/over/through a fence and drop the frisbee on the other side. First thing I asked was if I had been made a friend of the the test dog, a very handsome Chow Chow. This would allow me to give the dog commands almost as if I were his owner. Ooops. He fixed that quickly.
Then we got the spare frisbee out of the way.
See, VKC dogs can "see" objects when they've got active scripts in them, like Uni Ninetails's trees for instance. The post that the dog was supposed to circle was set like this, but somehow it acquired a very odd name -- the same one I was wearing at the Steelhead "Phantom of the Opera" masquerade dance! Rico thought I was joking when I told the dog to "go the mushroom of the catacombs", but honestly, that's what the post said. I don't even think I was wearing my RPTool.
He had some tricky bits - the dog wouldn't "go" to the post, after the name was fixed, because his "go" command had been changed! I spotted that and fixed it quickly, then taught the dog some marks, locations for the dog to remember and be able to be directed to. A little more fiddling and plotting on my part, and the chow nicely left where I was standing, circled the post, headed for the fence, stopped where he was to drop the frisbee, circled around the other end of the fence and returned to me with a nice little playful rollover to finish.
One problem - he didn't take the frisbee. "chow take frisbee" (dogs don't like capital letters). No response. Well, well, well. Another sneaky challenge! "dog forget take" - this should have removed a taught, overlaying behavior and returned "take" to the default action. Except... now the dog didn't do anything. "chow help" - this lists all the dog's marks, instincts, tricks and status. "chow list take" - no response at all.
Ooops. This broke "fetch" too, of course, because "take" is part of "fetch". It was more adventurous of a test than we expected! We found a script bug! He said I passed. :D
Now my beautiful park will be opening Friday - we'll take about an hour for final setup with proper signage and such, then the public is welcome at 5 PM, just enough time for people to check things out before Steelhead's Mardi Gras dance at 7. AND there'll be a special VKC event on Saturday too!
Oh, and for no good reason at all:
Adopshun by lolcatz - Not so grate acksually