Greetings blog aficionados. Frodo here for your reading pleasure on this, the 2nd of April. April. The month that is associated with the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” To which I would add: “and one cranky PON.” I detest rain. In all its forms. Shower, drizzle, mist, downpour – they are all equivalent in my opinion. They are all wet. I do look forward to the May flowers though.

Today I have a rather long tale for you….Regular readers know that both PONs and Picards can be very determined when they get an idea in their heads. But I would like to point out that humans can be the same….

Several weeks ago, Her Highness received an email bulletin from the Canadian Kennel Club announcing a new award/title. It is called a versatility award, and it is given to a dog who has obtained titles in three or more areas. She immediately took out her calculator to count the titles I have obtained. I say that in jest. It included a Championship (the beauty pageant award), a novice obedience title, and essentially 3 Rally titles to date – Novice, Advanced and Excellent. Not exactly calculator worthy. Her Highness thought that because I had three titles, I might be eligible for a versatility award. Alas – while I do have at least 3 titles, each one must be in a different “category” and unfortunately, rally and obedience are in the same category. Her hopes were dashed. I didn’t particularly care – unless the award came with biscuits. Still – she felt I SHOULD be a a versatility dog. Just because. So she began looking at other categories- to see if I might obtain a title that wouldn’t take years to obtain – given that I am 12.2 years old. So we went through options…agility. A bit much for an old fella, although to see me you wouldn’t guess my age. But still – repetitive jumps might be too challenging.

Chase ability? If there were puddles on the field I wouldn’t want to run through them. Not my thing.

Novice Draft Dog? Her Highness failed more draft tests with Harper, the Bernese than probably anyone in the record books. You see- when a dog is pulling a cart (at least in Canadian tests) they are not allowed to sit. Do you know how many times dear Harper – who was an excellent draft dog and who followed directions quite well, would sit (given his obedience training) and it was game over. And it was Her Highness who inadvertently gave him a signal to sit. They did finally pass- thank heavens. But me pull a 40lb load. No thank you. I’m no Bernese. And did I mention I’m 12.2?

Pointing Water Dog? I’m not sure my breed would even be eligible to compete. Besides, me- near water? Forget it. If that’s what the test entails. I do know it’s in the same class as a Working certificate- which Her Highness obtained with Beamish – the Labrador. It involves retrieving ducks on land and in the water. I’m a fabulous retriever, but swimming out to retrieve a duck? Shoot me now.

Another category included Lure Coursing – which Sight hounds are known for. Again we get into wet fields. Horrors.

Now also in that category is Scent Detection Instinct. I could possibly do something like that. But I’m not sure how long it would take. And whether the tests are frequently offered.

Barn hunt? The Coyote tried that. I could possibly do that – but I believe tests are few and far between.

Dock diving? Are you laughing as hard as me?

Tracking is up there with Scent Detection. A possibility.

There are loads of other titles you can get with your dog. Since I failed the herding instinct test – that wouldn’t be a possibility for me.

But just as she was about to give up the idea – she spotted another title. A Trick Dog title. Now THAT was a possibility. She read all about it – and she had some friends who obtained titles during the pandemic lockdown. In fact there are several levels of Trick Dog titles. And the best part? You can be tested by an examiner. OR- you can videotape the designated tricks and email them to an examiner. BINGO!

The next day, she announced we had work to do. She went downstairs in the rec room and moved the furniture around. She set up her phone on a stand, had my list of tricks and the camera was rolling. We had to do a few second takes- only because the videographer didn’t set the camera angle correctly. We did all the required tricks and she reviewed the footage. It was at that point that she realized we did all the tricks with her wearing her big fuzzy slippers. Oh so fashionable. She looked at me and said “so what.” I agreed. And she filled out the paperwork, paid the fee and sent my Academy Award winning performance to the examiner. Within 24 hours we had the word – I passed! And yesterday….this arrived…

So once that was complete – she sent in my results to the CKC – and according to the website, I now have Versatility Novice title! Not bad for an old guy!

Now according to the algorithms for Versatility tiles, I actually only need one more title to obtain my Versatility Advanced title. Look out Scent Detection peeps – I may be joining your training group. If I can find one. It’s either that, or sled dog.

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

2 thoughts on “Entitled

  1. Congrats! Who ever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks???

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