Tuesday, August 19, 2008



What is a Delta Evaluation, you might ask, and what does it mean to pass at the "complex" level?

Well, Lazarus and Moses have been training hard at ThunderPaws Canine Solutions with Hepzibah to prepare for becoming a Delta Dog, or a member of the Delta Society whose purpose is to provide Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities. Laz and Mos can go visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools, children's hospitals, and a variety of other places to cheer up patients and assist in their recovery. We are so proud of them. The funny thing is... they don't even realize what a great feat they've accomplished. They just did what they always do during the test, love and have fun.

Lazarus and I (Julie) went through the evaluation together. Lazarus thought it was so much fun. He just had a great time. He got 2's (the highest score) on ALL the exercises wagging his whole body the whole time. He didn't mind the walkers, canes, angry yelling, awkward petting, being told he couldn't have a fun toy, and LOVED getting a treat and showing off his obedience skills. He heeled with me and came to me when I called him. He even waited to meet a friendly stranger, which was his hardest task, by far (he just doesn't want to wait to meet people). Also, he accepted a restraining hug, (something he used to hate), beautifully. (Thanks to Alison, and all who helped give hugs to Laz over the past few weeks).

Moses went through the evaluation with Kevin, and although I couldn't see what happened, the evaluator wrote that they were an "enjoyable team," so I figure it went well. Moses also scored the highest score of 2 on all his exercises and also passed at the Complex level. I think Moses will excel at the READ program, where little kids get to read aloud to dogs. Kids like Moses, and he can be surprisingly calm when he wants to. We were worried that Moses wouldn't do any of the exercises because the entire test had to be done without treats. Moses is no fool, and he usually doesn't work for free (remember, he is T.O.'s alter ego) but he seemed to know it was important and rose to the occasion. What a good boy!!

The pictures are the pictures that will be on our badges. I haven't decided which one I'll use. Laz and Moses also will wear a badge and get a green vest to denote that they are Animal Assistants. We are excited to start our volunteer work as a pack. Thank you for all your prayers - WE DID IT! and we're good for 2 years until we have to reevaluate!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Memphis Trip

Julie and I took a quick trip last week to Memphis, Tennessee. We had a lot of fun getting away for a few days and we really lucked our because the weather was great in Memphis. It was unseasonable cool and dry. We attended a Memphis Redbirds baseball game. They are the AAA team for the St. Louis Cardinals and Julie got to take her picture with the mascot, Rocky. We also ate breakfast at the Arcade Restaurant which was one of Elvis Presley's favorites in Memphis. Here, I am doing my best "Fat Elvis" impression, but I did not order the banana and peanut butter sandwich. We also toured Sun Records Studio. Here I was able to play one of Roy Orbison's guitars! The tour was very cool and interactive. Laz, Moses, and Grace had a friend come over and stay with them while we were gone.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Lazarus' Birthday Party (4)

Laz is a bit fatigued so I will write the entry for his party. We celebrated tonight even though his birthday is technically Sunday. It was a hot evening, but still we had 28 people and 7 dogs. As usual, we had two cakes, one for people and one for dogs. One of the photos is of Laz and his pals eating the dog cake. Another photo is the sign Julie made to guide our guests to the new abode. The final shot is an overall shot, but it may be the first dog birthday picture I have been in because I am usually the photographer. As usual, Lazarus brought very different people together as we had guests under 10 and over 80 years old. A lot of his new neighborhood pals came by!
Grace mainly stayed in the bedroom because having 7 dogs in the house was a bit overwhelming. Her friend Emma came and played with her and pulled a shoelace around which Grace loves!