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I'm a star

You all remember Spot don't you? You know in children's reading Primers. See Spot Run, See Spot Play...... and of course you all have heard of Rover. Well, Guess what? I met Spot and Rover! Yes I did. Let me tell you all about it. You are probably all familiar with St. John Ambulance, an organisation well renowned for their First Aid and CPR courses and of course their Therapy Dog Program. Early this fall, St. John Ambulance announced the launch of a new First Aid Program. Did you guess? Yes, the first of its kind in the country, a first aid program for pets! A way for our human families to learn how to take care of us in case of an emergency.

The new program was announced with a dash of fanfare here in Winnipeg. At Assiniboine Park, we gathered one fine morning. The St. Johns folks and a bunch of us therapy dogs. Hey, you just have to have dogs there when its about pet safety. There we were all milling around, mostly being nice to each other. And then, we met Spot and Rover. I was all geared up to meet celebrities. I mean, Spot and Rover have been around for ever and everyone knows them. I must confess I was somewhat disappointed in them. I heard someone say they were there and I looked all over and could not see them, then suddenly one of the First Aid instructors pulled out a couple of big bags and out came Spot and then Rover. Geeezzzz... they're STUFFED dogs. Sigh, so much for meeting celebrities and getting pawgraphs. Yup, old Rover and Spot are stuffed pet dummies. Kinda neat I suppose as they have inflatable chests and even a pulse, but pretty lame if you are looking for a playmate. The people sure got more excited about them than we did. Fluffy the cat was there too. A stuffed cat.... no fun at all!

I was just settling in for a boring morning when vans started arriving from all over the place and out hopped reporters and camera crews, lots and lots of them. Hey. I guess old Spot and Rover are big name celebrities after all. All in all there were four TV crews and two newspaper crews. This wasn't so boring after all. We all gathered round as the big announcement was made about the new program. And then Spot and Rover and Fluffy were introduced. Someone showed how to move an injured dog and how to muzzle them so they don't bite and then how to check a pulse and check for choking and foreign objects, and then how to do CPR and mouth to snout ressussitation. The big dog folks were over with Rover and Spot and the little dogs and cat folks were with Fluffy. Through it all the video cameras whirred and the reporters took interviews and pictures. Mom got interviewed and Mitzi and I got introduced.

After a while, a bit of practice started on the real dogs. I did my very best dead dog routine to pretend I was an injured dog, so I could get carried over to the First Aid mat. Having my pulse taken was OK, and having my mouth opened to check inside was not too bad, but then...... I was a pretend choking victim. I got heimlicked ( almost too well if you know what I mean) and then as if the heimlich wasn't enough, I got picked up upside down and gently rocked back and forth, thank goodness it was just pretend. The "for real" upside down swing thing they did on Fluffy did not look like much fun. Then Mitzi got a turn. She had to open her mouth wide while Mom stuck her fingers in to check for foreign objects stuck in her throat. I swear it was just like a lion tamer routine. You could have seen what she had for breakfast. And there was a camera man right there peering down her throat.

Finally it was over and as a reward for being so good Mom took us for a long walk in the gardens and around the paths and the duck pond. Now, that was fun. Then home for a snooze. Seeing as there were so many news crews there, we figured Spot and Rover should make the evening news. And so we watched. Spot and Rover did make the news and so did I and Mitzi and Mom and lots of our friends!

Sigh! There is just one problem. Here we are adorable little Havanese, as cute and beguiling as can be. These must not have been very good reporters, as they did not even capture our best sides. Noooooo, not at all. There I am, on the news, for the whole country to see and am I looking cute and fluffy and sweet? Nooooo .... there I am , upside down... UPSIDE DOWN.... I tell you ,with my ears flapping and my belly exposed to the world. They did not do much better with Mitzi. There she is with her mouth wide open and fingers poking around in there and her with her teeth needing cleaning. Sigh!! So much for stardom and our big TV debut.

But I suppose it was all for a good cause. I know we Havanese are all sweet and wonderful and would never ever consider getting into trouble but other dogs and cats seem to attract trouble like magnets so, for them, it might be a good thing to pass this information along to your Humans and suggest they think about the new Pet First Aid Course with St. John Ambulance.

That's all for now,