Zena! Pets Alive’s FIRST CGC certified dog!

ZenaThe below blog was written by Joanna and Lauren, two of Pets Alive’d best volunteers. They are always there to support us, donate their time and energy to us, and even deeper than that, they are always coming up with ways to take us to the next level, the next step, the next frontier. They also handle our Humane Education, taking dogs offsite to classrooms or educational events to talk about animals, empathy, kindness and adoption. They have been a wonderful asset to our organization and we deeply appreciate their time and commitment. Recently, they decided to accept the challenge of CGC training and accrediting one of our dogs. Below is their experience. Thank you Lauren and Joanna. Zena has been blessed to have had this experience with you both.

When the time came for the Pets Alive Humane Education Team to choose a canine ambassador, and after much consideration, Zena was our choice for several reasons. Zena came to Pets Alive in Middletown, NY about 1 1/2 years ago as part of a group of seventy dogs rescued from a hoarding situation in West Virginia. She is thought to be a Pitbull terrier/ Mountain Cur mix, presently about 2 – 3 years old and still awaiting adoption. Zena is a volunteer favorite because she is so well behaved, gets along with everyone and just loves to hang out at the picnic table, content to have human company. As a Pittie mix she is a wonderful representative of the breed, and in our Humane Education classes she will certainly help us to educate the students as to the good nature and love that is the real heart of the Pitbull terrier.

In order to fill the position of Canine Ambassador, it was decided that this dog should undergo training and be a certified Canine Good Citizen,(CGC).Through arrangements made by Pets Alive volunteer Alina Melendez and with the support of Positively Pets Dog Training, LLC, located in New Windsor, NY, we were invited to attend the six week training course which began September 10, 2011. CGC training is a program of training developed by the American Kennel Association, (AKC), with specific criteria that must be met by the dog and tested for by AKC/CGC certified dog trainers before certification is granted. Our certified instructions, Lois and Stasia created an environment for learning that was not only educational, but fun for us all. Their knowledge of training techniques became clearly evident in the results that all the class members achieved. Included in our class were Alina and Richard Melendez with their Saint Bernard, Zoe, as well as several dogs that were previously adopted from Pets Alive.

cgcOn the sixth week we were tested on the ten items required in order for Zena to be CGC certified. The ten test items are as follows: Accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, appearance and grooming, walking on a loose lead, walking through a crowd, sit and down on command and staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, reaction to distraction, and supervised separation. To our delight, Zena passed and is now officially an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen!

Those are the facts, but the experience yielded a much higher reward for us, and for Zena. When we began this endeavor, Zena could not focus on either one of us, even with the temptation of holding a piece of frankfurter between our eyes. She did not know how to connect. How could she know. But now, after six weeks that included one hour car rides, many walks together and endless treats while training, in addition to compassion and lots of love – now Zena knows. Her transformation and our relationship with her has been the real reward.

Although Zena was chosen to be certified as the Pets Alive Humane Education Team Ambassador, we would be thrilled if her success here would open the doorway to her new family and her forever home!

Lauren Jones and Joanna Seere
Pets Alive Middletown Humane Education Team

Filed in Animal Rescue by kerry on Oct 28, 2011.  There are 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Zena! Pets Alive’s FIRST CGC certified dog!”

  1. Kristie Hendricks-Davis Says:

    This is WONDERFUL!!! Great work ladies!! Love you Zena!!!

  2. karen lyons kalmenson Says:

    major smiling moment!!!!

  3. Pets Alive Blog » Kerry’s Update – November 1, 2011 Says:

    […] Alive Blog « Zena! Pets Alive’s FIRST CGC certified dog! […]

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