Stephen had a BIG day today visiting Mrs. Kotwitz’s (aka daughter Julie) 2nd grade class. It was his 1st time to be around so many youngsters! I think overall he was a bit stressed, but he handled it all well.
We began with a book. Looking Out for Sara by Glenna Lang. (Rhythm did a review of this book on her blog – HERE.
The kids seemed to like the book and we had a good discussion about the world of the Blind. I don’t think Stephen thought too much of the book, but he was really interested in the shoe laces that were right under his nose. Letting the kids pet him while I read was a little much for this little guy, so I put him under me for the duration.
After storytime, I let everyone pet Stephen a bit – just a few at a time. Then I decided to let them play a game with Stephen. At home, Stephen and I play the Name Game. I call his name and if he responds he gets a treat! He knows his name REALLY well. At home, he comes running if he’s out of sight and if he’s close by he comes to attention. He’s good at this game!! Or so I thought.
I thought it would be a good one since he does so well at home. I expected him to be a little off his game because he was in a strange environment and he didn’t know these kids. But I gave all the kids a couple of treats for him and had them sit at their tables. Mrs Kotwitz went around and picked an individual to call Stephen. I instructed them to be nice and loud and clear and if he came to say “Yes!” and give him a treat. Well, evidently he doesn’t really know his NAME! He seems to just know ME! My VOICE is what he’s responding to at home! So, sometimes he didn’t acknowledge his name at all. Sometimes he looked at me.
We tried it a bit differently. I had the student stand kind of close to me and call his name. At first he just looked at me still, but after a couple of times he figured out that that hand over there had a treat in it and he would follow the hand. But not necessarily his name.
So, the day turned into a learning experience for me! I know that dog’s don’t naturally transfer knowledge from one environment to another and from one person to another, but I expected him to do better than he did. So, now we’re going to be playing the Name Game with a lot more people in a lot more places!!
Be ready! Stephen and I may show up at your front door!!