So a few weeks after our the hiccup at our first attempt to pass the Delta Society Pet Partners Team Evaluation Zeus and I found ourselves in search of a Pet Partners Team Evaluator who had an opening for us to retake the evaluation. One thing I learned is that getting a slot for a Pet Partners Team Evaluation is like trying to get a ticket to a Led Zeppelin reunion concert (that means really hard if you are not into )! So make sure you plan ahead or have the luck of the Irish on your side when you are scheduling for your evaluation.
Luckily for us Karen Donnick, a Delta Society Pet Partners Evaluator located in Kitsap County, WA, had a slot available for her next team evaluation. One thing I want to mention about Karen is that she provided the teams with detailed preparation emails that outlined things we should be thinking about to prepare for the evaluation as well as what she will be looking for when evaluating the handler and the animal. Karen even provided detailed information on what she would be looking for in each exercise. This really helped me work on spots where I thought Zeus and I might have challenges during the evaluation.
The evaluation day arrived and Zeus and I headed south toward Tacoma where we would get to cross the famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge to get to our final destination at the Siverdale Boy Scout Hall. It was a another beautiful summer day and I was quietly confident about our prospects for passing the Pet Partners Team Evaluation. As we pulled up to the Silverdale Boy Scout Hall I could hear Zeus panting in his crate. Zeus has never been a huge fan of riding in his crate but it definitely the safest way for your dog to travel with you. The hall looked like an old log cabin and we were greeted immediately by a couple of Karen’s volunteers. They helped us get settled in, checked our paperwork, and moved us upstairs where the evaluation was held. The Scout Hall was rustic and a bit dark, but all of the volunteers were bright and friendly.
Karen had Zeus and I walk around the room in preparation for the evaluation. Karen’s approach is serious, but very supportive. Karen is very good at explaining the exercise and prepping the handler for any possible “gotchas”. We made it through the Pet Partners Skills Test without any issues. We then moved on to the Pet Partners Aptitude Test. The only exercise that threw me was the staggering exercise. A women who had one of those scooters that folks use when the have a broken foot came at us pretty quickly and I felt Zeus get a little anxious as he had never seen anyone on one of these things! When she stopped in front of us Zeus just stood up and wagged his tail, so all was well. When we finished the last exercise, offering a treat to the dog, Karen told us that Zeus and I had past the Delta Society Pet Partners Team Evaluation! I gave Zeus a big hug and our trip home was filled with me exclaiming “good boy, Zeus!”.
So now begins the next step on this journey. Zeus and I are currently looking for the right opportunity to start giving back to the community. Fortunately the Delta Society provides a lot of resources for the newly minted Pet Partners Team. Obviously we will keep you updated on our adventures!