Today, again, I shook my head in disbelief. Just how smart is Zelador? He and I were practicing for the fundraiser. I got Zelador ready for “Alice the Camel”. I put the camel cloth on him and asked him to stand on the pedestal. He did. However, within a few seconds he stepped off the pedestal and walked towards the wall of the arena that is filled with toys and props. I called him back. He stopped, looked at me and didn’t move. I thought for a second, then realized I’d forgotten the three numbered boxes which he holds during the song. I apologized to him, fetched the three boxes and he went up on the pedestal!

We also practiced “A Place In the Choir”. This song has five verses and the chorus is repeated often. I’ve been trying to figure out things for Zelador to do during all this singing! So far Zelador goes around the pedestals at liberty, in and out, etc. He fetches three stuffed animals to be in the choir and places them on the other low pedestal. He stands on the tall pedestal and directs the choir holding the wand in his mouth, moving it all over the place. Even with all this activity I still need MORE for him to do.

Today, I added piaffe in-hand (he’s wearing a halter) for a verse and a chorus. I also placed three chairs on the other low pedestal for the three stuffed animals. Now Zelador knows to bring the animals to me (I’m standing by the pedestal that has the chairs). He gives me an animal and receives a treat. I made it clear that he wasn’t to play with the animals when they were in the chairs or to mess with the chairs.

Well, twice when we were practicing he did his lay down and sat on the way up. He sat for quite some time. I finally figured out: he wants to have a place to sit in the choir, too. One thing I might be able to do is have him sit on his bean bag. That can be his Place in the Choir. Only problem is: he LOVES the bean bag. When I have it out in the arena he focuses totally on it, zooms over and sits! I just might have to figure out a way to add it to the other apparatus in the arena a few seconds before it’s time for him to sit in the choir.

And, I have one other movement Zelador can do if we need to eat up more time: he can bow to the audience.

This morning Sue comes and we’ll go through all of the acts. Between the two of us we’ll time the actions for each song (“A Place in the Choir” takes two and a half minutes) and try to finalize all the movements Zelador is to perform. The dress rehearsal is tomorrow!