Champ the Therapy Dog: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First, let me tell you about a little incident I had…earlier in the month, I had a really rotten day, because I insisted on counter-surfing. As it turns out, I had to pay heavily for my sins.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term &dquo;counter-

surfing,&dquo; let me share the official Urban Dictionary definition: &dquo;counter-surfing: a habit of

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medium-to-large dogs whereby they stand on their hind legs to see what is on the kitchen counter..&dquo; Ha ha, and my personal

definition includes grabbing and eating whatever I please, which is a wonderful reward, or so I thought. Anyway, on this particular day, there were some very tasty-smelling freezer rolls rising on the top of the stove.&bsp; It didn&squo;t matter one bit to me that they were still in a hard, frozen state ‐ I ate them anyway.

Now, how was I supposed to know that this was now a Medical Emergency??? Thankfully, my humans knew and took

immediate action. This occurred at o&squo;dark thirty when none of the clinics were open (of course), so they called my Godmother, who happens to be a terrific vet, as well as an understanding friend, and she told them I had to give the rolls back, immediately. Uh-oh, that didn&squo;t sound good…and let me tell you, it was not a fun time for any concerned! They took me outside and poured something down my throat, and my

stomach felt really, really bad and…well…1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 rolls…yup, they got them all back, much to my dismay. I felt crummy ALL DAY.

So, did I learn anything from this misadventure, you ask?&bsp; Heck, no! I would do it again in a heartbeat! Hopefully, my humans have learned their lesson and will never again leave rolls out where I can reach them! Like most dogs, I will eat whatever I please without regard to whether it will cause me illness, or, as in this case, potential death.

I am a very lucky dog because my humans knew that rising dough is extremely dangerous for animals to eat ‐

it can kill us, and very quickly. I am also lucky that they knew who to call and were able to get the dough balls back, and apparently just in the nick of time. Humans, ask your vet what to have on hand in case your pet gets into this sort of trouble.

But let&squo;s forget that little venture as I am back to my normal,&bsp; glorious self. I had a really great time at LaurelHurst this month!&bsp; The residents there were practicing for their St. Patrick&squo;s Day Bash and sang a song for me. It was &dquo;I&squo;m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover&dquo; and they were not only jolly, they were in tune! Got to love those Irish! Oh yeah…and they gave me my own little bag of doggie treats!!&bsp; YUM! (No frozen dough balls either!)

I also went to two local schools this month. I was invited to Polk&bsp; Central School, and let me tell you, these students rock! The students and teachers there raised over $700 for the animals at the shelter, and that is no small change! I was so impressed!&bsp; They also had a pet photo

contest complete with the caption, &dquo;Whose Pet Am I?&dquo; under each photo. The photos were great! Of course, I personally am no one&squo;s pet, although I will admit that on most days, my humans are my equals. Maybe one day they will realize this.

I also got to visit Tryon

Elementary along with Jack, my funny Therapy Dog friend. There were a lot of students here and we were the only dogs, so it got just a little crazy! Most animals do best in a calm, quiet atmosphere, but I enjoyed myself anyway. And I do&bsp; think the students did quite well on their animal test!

I am going to be at the Animal Fair this year! I was hoping I would be strategically placed next to the food, but in light of my recent escapades, my humans asked that I be stationed as far away from the food as possible&bsp; (Gee, thanks a lot). Tickets for the Animal Fair are still available, and the best part is, you will get to hang out with ME. And feed me a treat, if my humans aren&squo;t looking.

I am also going to be a judge at the April Fools Doggie Costume Contest on Saturday, April 4th. Judging will be at 11 a.m. at St. Luke&squo;s Thrift Store in Tryon.&bsp; Don&squo;t laugh ‐ I take my jobs very seriously! Please come out with your best costume on!&bsp; My friend Lennie Rizzo and Ziggy, my wonderful, crazy Therapy Dog buddy (whose photo won an award in the Po&squo;Kitties All Pet Photo Contest last October), will share judging duties with me. It should be a fun time. And the BEST part of being a judge is ‐ I don&squo;t have to wear a stupid costume!