To the casual observer, this was not much of a challenging game as evidenced by the comments overheard such as “Hey why don’t you try making this more difficult?” or “I think she knows where you hid the treat!” But for a first time player, this pitiful little blind dog was actually having the time of her life!
Dumped on the streets after going blind, this senior dog is one of the many taken in by Famous Fido Rescue and Adoption Alliance who is being enriched by the “hunting game” known as K9 Nose Work®. And while it seems rather elementary, it’s very important that the dog gets engaged by succeeding; after all who among us would continue to play any game that we couldn’t win?
Watching Sweetie, as she is called, reminded me of seeing the Helen Keller movie where in the beginning we see an unruly and unfocused blind girl find purpose when she connects to the new language of braille. Sweetie too has been an unfocused, scared girl who hasn’t connected to much. But today she was focused on finding some treats in a box, and then another and slowly being challenged to search outside her little area using her very powerful sense of smell to locate another hiding place for treats.
This little dog who has become defensive and anxious around other dogs for fear of being attacked, did not lift her noise out of the box when other dogs were walking by the scent area and for the first time since she arrived at the rescue, I noticed a dog who looked like a young puppy discovering a new toy. Life just got a lot sweeter for Sweetie!
There are many dogs and many stories that you can read about at www.famousfidorescue.com
K9 Nose Work® provided by volunteer, Roger Lautt, Certified Nose Work Instructor and Certified Professional Dog Trainer of Chicago Dog Nose www.chicagodognose.com
Rescue-dog training provided by volunteer, Fran Berry, Certified Professional Dog Trainer of Gofidogoodfido www.gofidogoodfido.com