I usually give a lot of thought to my Blog The Change posting, but it's been such a crazy summer, that I haven't thought about it at all!!! So this is truly from the heart...
When I first started thinking about what I could do to help precipitate change for animals (more than a year ago), I was stumped. I don't have a lot of money to donate, I don't have a lot of time most days, I don't have a lot of influence, and I just don't have a lot of knowledge about how I can help. I felt pretty "disposable." Much like some animals in rescues and shelters must feel.
Than after hearing about the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills) program for probably a year, it was released this spring. I was intrigued, but not really thinking it was something I needed to get in to. I knew it was probably a good program, but I am not much for change sometimes and I'm really not much for change if it means I have to completely rewrite my dog training class curriculum.
But I started reading and I was very interested; then I attended a webinar and I was hooked! And, I had an idea -- this is a way I can make a change for animals. In the C.L.A.S.S. program, there is a shelter/rescue component. And something that is very lacking in our area is training for the dogs in shelters/rescues.
So I took the tests to be an Evaluator, and passed (yay me!), and I continued reading the enormous amount of material they make available to us as Students, Instructors, and Evaluators. I saw some really wonderful things we could do with not only dogs in shelters/rescues, but also with all dogs. I love the "life skills" aspect of the program and am excited about the changes that are going to happen in our classes with the addition of this program.
I approached a local rescue group (SPA -- the group we fostered our puppies for) and they liked the idea. This week we started our first class made up entirely of volunteers training dogs available for adoption!!!! It was fabulous!!! The dogs and the volunteers were wonderful and we had an extremely productive first class. I can't wait to see how the subsequent weeks go!!!
If the dogs all pass their evaluations at the end of the class series, they will all have their "Bachelor's Degree" in the C.L.A.S.S. program and of course, our hope is that their new "degree" will make them even more adoptable. My personal hope is that I have found a way to help Be the Change for Animals.