Monday, December 19, 2016
I was so thrilled when Maggie and I were asked to be a part of a training video for my organization “Pals For Life”. We were not told too many details ahead of time, just asked to show up at noon at the Haverford Estates where Maggie and I had been before for visits at the wonderful nursing home. I made sure to feed her a little early that day so she wouldn’t be hungry and distracted. When we arrived we were joined by a Golden retriever, Uno, whom we had never met before and a Collie, Caleb whom we had done some visits prior at the center. All the dogs hit it off and before we started filming seemed to enjoy each other’s company by doing what dogs love to do, smelling each other.. The purpose of the training video is to show the right and wrong way for therapy dogs to behave while on a visit. (The video will be viewed by all new candidates of the organization). Here are a few examples of the scenes we filmed. We first filmed the correct way for two dogs to approach each other while entering a building. Dogs are allowed to greet each other before a visit, but while they are “working” they are trained to ignore each other and focus their attention on the humans they are visiting. So the incorrect way we filmed this was to let the dogs interact and even get a little “rowdy” while they were in a social situation. We had to get them a little excited for this and at times they seemed a little confused as if to say-I thought you want us calm and now you want us hyper, “what gives? But it was only for a few minutes. Another scenario we filmed was the correct and incorrect way to approach an individual. The correct way is in a calm manner, no jumping. The incorrect way we filmed was with a dog jumping on an individual and the individual appearing taken aback and stunned. Some of the dogs would not even jump on an individual that’s how well trained they are. We next filmed the correct way to walk our dogs on a leash. This is with your dog beside you and the leash somewhat slack. A well trained dog does not have to have the leash pulled tight against your body. The incorrect way we filmed this is with the dog pulling at the leash and you following behind. The way we filmed this is rather interesting. Off to the side so it wouldn’t be caught on camera we had a person holding a treat so the dog would be tempted to lunge for it (and let me say it worked!) This video when completed should be amazing! A big shout out to the film crew who were patient with the amateur actors, humans and canines alike. I got a glimpse of the time and effort it must take to film a true movie or documentary. This was a lot of fun ! Maggie went home with a belly full of treats (even thought I had fed her earlier) and slept the afternoon away Can’t wait to see the final cut!