Since making our twice weekly rounds to the schools last Spring, Jeep’s popularity has continued to soar. Jeep’s personality is certainly suited to the work of a therapy dog. She is extremely calm, especially for a puppy. She loves visiting students and staff alike. A number of parents have shared with me just how much their children talk about Jeep at home.
Hopefully students, staff and families will enjoy reading up on the antics of Jeep as she continues her training journey. I appreciate how Jeep has helped me to connect with children and with staff. As a superintendent, I know I have a much clearer understanding of the day to day operations of all our schools.
Thank you for allowing us both to be part of the greater Lake Villa community!
Dr. Lynette Zimmer, Jeep’s human sidekick and partner
Meet General. He is a ten year old Great Pyrenees. His family
recently went on vacation and left him behind at a kennel for boarding.
Obviously General wanted to be with his family. He escaped by opening four doors (one with his mouth) and was found later sleeping (no surprise there pyr fans) in a neighbor’s yard waiting for his family’s return. Interestingly, some of the doors General had to push open and others he had to pull open. I wonder how he knew what to do? He is one clever pyr!
Hopefully our friend Jeep doesn’t get any crazy ideas like that. Pyrenees are known in the dog world to be escape artists and secure fencing is a must for a pyr family. Thankfully General is home safe and sound. I bet next time his family will take him with them on vacation. Hopefully they have a BIG car to fit everyone in.
In case you are wondering what Jeep is doing over Spring Break, these pictures should give you a pretty good idea. Our Mud Monster has returned! Jeep is enjoying every minute of her time outside. She stays out for hours finding new ways to roll, dig and flop in the dirt.
Fortunately, our friend Jeep is very good-natured about getting a bath when it’s finally time to come inside. She actually walks me into the shower and waits patiently as I gather towels and turn the cold water on for her. (Of course it is cold water – after all, she is a Pyrenees!)
While we might not like the bitter cold blast that is currently sweeping the Midwest, our friend Jeep is ecstatic. Jeep stayed home yesterday and played in the snow for over 12 hours. She didn’t even want to come in for dinner.
Of course she liked it best when Dot Com ventured out for a few minutes. Apparently it is quite fun to chase Dot in the snow. Dot seemed to enjoy the attention and certainly did her own share of chasing.
This has been Jeep’s first winter and I am pleased she got some more time to play in the snow.
Goodness knows it won’t be long before Jeep will be playing in the mud instead. We all know how much she likes to do that! Ugh.
Jeep and Dot Com spend a lot of time together playing. It seems they particularly enjoy roughhousing when I am sitting on the floor with them. Often the play involves one of them holding a toy in her mouth and trying to get me or the other dog to take it. Here is a clip of Jeep trying to get Dot to play with her. Notice how big Jeep’s mouth is compared to Dot’s? Dot tries to pretend she is not interested in the ball, but we all know she really is. Dot is CRAZY about tennis balls. Dot cannot stand it if Jeep has a ball. Of course, this makes Jeep all the more playful.
You can also see how the dogs use their paws to playfully swipe at each other. Of course our friend Jeep has some pretty big paws, but Dot doesn’t seem to mind. In fact a lot of times Dot is the one who starts it. Jeep and Dot also like to chest bump each other. Take a peek.
So how do you know if the puppies are playing or really fighting? When dogs play their tails are up and wagging. You might see the dogs bow down on their front legs to each other. Just like when you play with your friends, there should be turn taking. Yes, after a few minutes Jeep will drop the ball and Dottie will happily snatch it up. Then the game starts all over again with Dot trying to get Jeep to take the ball from her.
While the dogs might be growling as part of the fun, their mouths should be open and their heads moving loosely. Dogs who are fighting freeze their bodies, stare, then lunge.
I am happy that Jeep and Dot Com have so much fun together. They really are best buddies even if Dot wants to steal all the tennis balls.
Kids aren’t the only ones practicing the 7 Habits. Jeep has worked hard on Begin with the End in Mind. Do you remember Jeep’s goal to become a therapy dog? She has been working on her goal for almost a year and she is finally ready to take the test!
On Tuesday night Jeep and I will be tested for the first time to become a pet therapy team with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. If we pass the test on Tuesday, we will still have to be observed three separate times before we are officially recognized as a therapy team.
Our friend Jeep has to do a number of things to pass the test. Jeep must:
Be good around other dogs
Walk on a leash without pulling (loose leash)
Allow strangers to pet her all over including her tail
Not react to loud noises
Not jump up on people
Follow all hand signals and commands
Not react to people walking unsteadily, walking with canes or using wheelchairs
Not show signs of stress
Be clean and well groomed
Be current on all vaccinations
Thank you to all her kid and teacher friends for helping us train. I think we have a great shot of passing the test. Keep your paws crossed for us and I will keep you posted!
Our friend Jeep was busy today making her rounds to Thompson, Hooper, Martin and Palombi handing out pyr (as in Pyrenees) love to all her kid friends for Valentine’s Day. We all know that Jeep loves kids more than steak bones and what better way to celebrate than stepping out with a Valentine’s Day party hat?
I was amazed just how long Jeep managed to keep her hat on her head. Dot tried it at home and it stayed on less than five seconds. Do you think it’s because the hat belonged to Jeep? Probably.
Jeep hopes your Valentine’s Day was filled with sweetness and fun!