Our dear heart Laurice

Brody was a working dog from the month he joined our family. Laurice – our lovely golden rotti mix was working hard doing humane education gigs with schools, classes and various boy and girl scout troops (not to mention shelter tours and trade shows). Tempermentally she LOVED the work. At the end of a small group tour I’d ask the kids to crowd around her and put one hand on her then pat her as thanks for her work. She was in absolute bliss for this activity. She had terrible hip dysplasia though and I really felt strongly the humane educators (rabbit Pongo, cockatiel Saffron, cat Sweet William) needed a little more support. Brody was CUTE as stink from the get go and really didn’t like people so he minded his own business while I talked. It didn’t take too long for him to learn a couple of cute tricks to show off so the children had another way to appreciate animals. (They didn’t get invited to mob him that’s for sure).

He joined us in January and in March he was invited to be on stage at the Elgin Theatre in a professional production of Annie. He was required to sit still in a basket and be wheeled out onto the stage. Sit for about 3 minutes then get wheeled off. I was pretty confident that he wouldn’t be particularly interested in the people on stage and the stage lights prevented him from being phased by the audience. Brody was excellent. He happily hung out in the green room night after night (10 long nights) meeting the crew members who thought he was adorable and doing his 3 minute stint on stage then going out for the final curtain applause. It was an interesting glimpse into a world I knew so little about. We were both exhausted by the time that gig was over! ( I also did a meet and greet with him in the lobby during intermission).

Brody has always been a great supervisor!

We had gotten that invitation thanks to some tv work Laurice and I were doing at the time. There was a goofy show called the Pet Project that was a collection of feel good animal stories linked together through a host and his dog. Laurice was hired to play the role of Daisy’s nemisis; she played a he and a super star that Daisy couldn’t quite live up to. She had to learn all kinds of funny things in that role: running down a street dragging something sticks out in my mind as she was a super polite dog who I could easily have walked on a piece of floss – any pressure at all stopped her.  The producer thought of me when asked about Annie. At the time she didn’t know I had a smaller dog – I still chuckle to think of someone trying to wheel Laurice out on stage in a bicycle basket!

Shortly after Annie Brody had to spend a day hanging out with the Blue Jay mascot to promote a rescue positive event the Jays were hosting. A large Blue bird in a suit could easily phase most dogs. It took Brody a minute or two but once he showed off his two tricks (his whole collection at the time) he was ok, although a little suspicious. 
He has done oodles of media with me .. often just chilling in my arms while a reporter chats to me.

Brody at the site of our future agility field!

The Pet Project people contacted me shortly after that as they needed a variety of dogs to play different roles as the host segments got more complicated. Brody was often the star of those bits along with whoever we were fostering (Laurice was far to well known by her audience!). he had to run away from people, greet people rudely, dig in a garden, sit and look out a window, flip over a box, sit in a tall studio chair, bark, sneeze and many other little bits. There were times I’d have less than 12 hours to teach him something.  Actually sometimes the producer would ask on the shoot if we could do something else and I’d grab 10 -20 minutes to try to teach him something. (In hindsight no wonder Brody is so handler focussed). 
We did some local dog training classes – and Brody sailed through them. We did our CGN and then when Brody was about 5 said  “why not try agility?” So we did that and had a blast. People would say you should trial him and I’d laugh. We did demos with our group and Brody was amazing. Nothing bothered him. So in March of 2007 we decided to try a trial. He ran well that weekend and earned a starters jumpers q. In August of 2007 he earned all three starters standard qs on the same night . By June of 2008 he was competetive at our regionals – earning a 6th and 10th place in the Vets class (full of VERY experienced, masters level dogs) and qualifying for Nationals. He also attended the CPE Nationals and earned himself the high in trial for his height and level. He is a rock star indeed!