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Whaddya Think Of This Training Thing, Bodes?

Bodhi and Shiva are walking along the beachfront at Kirra Beach, on leash with Lynda.

              “Heh, Bodes, whaddaya think of this training thing?”

              “Whaddaya mean, Shivs?”

              “You know, doing these different activities, again and again. Like today, walking along the path here and doing as Lynda says. Walking beside her on leash, not pulling. Or lying in one place, even when all these people …”

              “And birds, Shivs …”

              “… are walking past and not moving until Lynda says we can.”

              “It’s ok. We get out of the house, and if we do what Lynda asks, best of all, we get treats. Can’t complain about that, Shivs.”

              “Yes, I know. But sometimes I wish we could just go down on the beach and run and play.”

              “We get to do that too, Shivs. But we are training to be therapy dogs remember. We have to learn to be able to act in certain ways. Be calm and controlled, relaxed. And not react, or be distracted, when people walk past, or come up to us. That’s what we are doing today, Shivs. Training to be good therapy dogs. Don’t you want Lynda to be proud of you?”

              “Yes, I do, Bodes. But it is not always easy.”

              “I know what you’re saying, Shivs. Those birds get me going. It’s hard to sit still, or be quiet, when I see a bird, Shivs.”

              “But you’re getting better, Bodes.”

              “Yes, I know. But that’s because of our training, Shivs. See what I mean. It is good for us. We are better dogs.”

              “True, Bodes. And I reckon I’m getting better at people coming up to me. Once, I would get a little wary, and shy, with people I didn’t know. And would stand beside Lynda for protection, and to feel safe. But now, I reckon, I am ok. I just sit, or stand, there. I don’t react. I remain calm and controlled. That’s pretty good for me. Whaddaya reckon, Bodes?”

             “No, you’re right, Shivs. You’re coming along real well, I reckon.”

              “I do my best, Bodes. But there are days like today, when I just want to let loose on the beach.”

              “Maybe when we finish training, we will get to do that. Lynda always lets us have some fun when training is over for the day. I like running too, Shivs, but I like to lie in the shade, also. Just chilling.”

              “Yes, I noticed that, Bodes. You like your chilling time.”

              “Quiet sitting goes a long way, Shivs. You got to know how to rest. Stillness is good for you, especially as we are learning to be therapy dogs.”

              “And there’s no birds about.”

              “But like you said, Shivs, I’m getting better. And after training I’m pretty pooped, so chilling, and not be bothered by the birds, comes easier.”

              “What we got on tomorrow, Bodes, you know?”

              “I think we’re meeting some kids tomorrow. Hanging out with them. We have to learn to build relationships with kids, or the people we are going to be trying to assist. No jumping on them, licking, those type of things.”

              “I don’t do that anyway, Bodes.”

              “Yes, I know, Shivs. You’re good with kids. They all seem to like you.”

              “Well, I like them. And I noticed kids really like it when you give them attention and be nice and kind with them. Sit with them, especially if they are not feeling comfortable or happy, maybe feeling lonely. They like to give me cuddles. Lynda has taught me to cuddle. Kids really like that.”

              “Yes, we all need a cuddle from time to time, Shivs.”

              “It’s nice to know we can help people, Bodes. It does make all the training worthwhile I reckon. There’s nothing like putting a smile on a kid’s face.”

              “On anyone’s face, Shivs. We all need a little joy in our lives.”

              “You know what they say, Bodes: I’d walk a million miles for one of those smiles.”

              “I don’t know about that, Shivs, but I will keep on training.”

             “Yes, you’re right, Bodes. This training thing is not so bad, is it?”

All right guys, that’s enough for today, Lynda says. You can go have a run on the beach.

              “Hear that, Bodes. We can let loose on the beach after all.”

              “Yes, Shivs. See, if you do the right thing by Lynda, she will do the right thing by us. Well, actually, she always does the right thing by us. No matter what.”

              “Yes, Bodes. And getting to go for a run on the beach. Now that’s what I call a treat! Let’s go, Bodes …”

              “I’m coming, Shivs …”

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