Friday, September 21, 2012

Lad Lake and Tink

The Lad Lake program has started up again.  This semester we have a great group of 6 boys who are enthusiastic and fast learners. 

One of the dogs assigned to one of the groups is Tink -- a very small Chihuahau.  The boys learned very quickly that training an adult small dog can be a challange.   Many times they are difficult to lure into a down position, and in Tink's case, she was also difficult to lure into a sit. 

Quite by accident the boys discovered that she does a beautiful play bow, and they spent most of their training session with her on Wednesday perfecting this trick.  Within no time Tink was not only bowing reliably, but holding it for over a minute at a time while the boys reinforced her with tiny Chihuahua sized treats. 

It was fantastic that the boys went from frustration to pride at what they were able to train this little girl to do.   I'm sure it will make them look forward to future sessions of dog training at HAWS.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Critter Club Starts Again!

Summer is over, camp is a not so distant memory, and with the start of the school year HAWS begins again with our fall programs.

One of my favorite programs is Critter Club -- a club for students in grades 6th through 9th, in which members learn about animals, do special animal related projects, and volunteer on Saturday mornings helping at HAWS. 

Last night was the first meeting night.  Critter Club consists of 15 students.  Ten of them are returning Critter Club members, which speaks to how much fun the kids had in their previous semesters in the program.  It's nice to see familiar faces -- I've really gotten to know these wonderful kids during the time I've spent with them.  And I look foward to getting to know the five new members this semester as well.

HAWS Education Assistant, Megan Katzuba, is new to Critter Club as well.  Last night she did a great job training the kids on cat socialization, despite the rowdy mood that came from the kids reuniting with students they hadn't seen since the end of the last school year. 

After the brief training session the kids were given a quick tour of the cat area, had a chance to look at all the adoptable cats, and were allowed to take some of the cats out for a little bit of play-time.   

I'm really looking forward to this year's group of kids.  Many of them have attended HAWS Kids 'N Critters camps over the years, and I've watched them grow into some amazing people.  They are the future of animal welfare, and it's wonderful to see that they are going into that responsibility.