Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valkyrie visits the Portland NAC

First question you probably want answered is "what is a NAC?" NAC stands for North American Cup, which is a fencing tournament. There are seven a year, one each month of the season except September, February which has Junior Olympics. There is also Nationals in July.
There was a NAC here in April as well that Kelsa went to.

NAC's are big events with lots of people, hundreds of competing athletes, coaches, parents, vendors, teammates, spectators, referees, armorers (they fix and test the electric fencing equipment, test masks, and fix the fencing strips), the bout committee (they run the tournament and keep everyone organized), trainers, and volunteers. It is a great place to work on people distractions and walking though crowds. There are also other distractions like yelling fencers, beeping machines, food on the floor, and the sound of metal blades hitting each other. In other words a NAC is distraction heaven!

Valkyrie was great. She loved being the "morale dog" and getting to visit a lot of different people, and she didn't get upset with any of the noises. But she was so tired by the end of the day (only about 4 hours). She also got the opportunity to ride the MAX several times.

I really miss fencing and doing competitions now.
My good friend Lacey took third in her first national tournament since she retired 4 years ago.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kelsa's new career

Kelsa has started on a couple of new career paths since she came home. This first is becoming a professional couch potato, ever since she found out she could get on the couch she doesn't want to get off.

The second is becoming a therapy dog registered with the Delta Society. First I go to a training session then she has an evaluation. Everything on the evaluation are things that she already did as a guide puppy, like not go visit other dogs, leave toys alone, not be startled by clumsy or exaggerated movements, exc. If all goes according to plan she should be a therapy dog by St. Patrick's day. Where we would visit is partly dictated by our rating on the evaluation. If we ace the test then we can work wherever we want, if we get the second highest rating then we can do read to the dogs or work in nursing homes, but probably not in a hospital. I'd like to do read to the dogs in my old elementary school, I think that would work best for Kelsa too because she's so sensitive to people's moods. I'm concerned that a lot of stressed, in-pain people (like at a hospital) would stress her too much.