My "kids" have been nagging me to "meet" Ryder and Diva. I made a sneak attack plan with my mom. At 2:30 she was going to show up at the school with Ryder. Now, I was more than aware this could go either way. Ryder has had virtually no experience with children. That being said, the only way to get experience with kids is to be exposed to them.
With no warning I barked at my kids to drop their books and line up. I told them to go outside and sit on the cement. With the school emergency plans having been activated recently they were freaked. Then my mom and Ryder walk towards us. The kids eyes light up, huge smiles breaking up their faces. Grabbing Ryder's leash and toy I bring him around front of my class. I've told them enough Ryder and Diva stories they felt they knew him. I give them a brief "how to meet and greet strange dogs" lesson. I also talked about what to do if you're scared of a dog.
I was having Ryder show off some of his manners: sit, stay, hide and seek, pretty. I look up and two classes of students are coming around the corner. They were on their way back into the school and they wanted in the door we were in front of. As a couple of grade fives dived towards Ryder I snarked at them to get back. This is one of my peeves in life. If I don't give you permission to approach my dog don't you dare touch him/her. Deciding we were headed for a train wreck I asked my class to move away from the door. I'm walking away and behind me is a pack of kids chasing me, circling around me. Yikes. Ryder handled it all like a super star.
He was nervous but appropriate. A couple kids made some sudden and erratic movements and he tucked his tail and scootched away but never showed any negative behavior. The kids lined up and threw the ball for him. He even tried to include a parent who was waiting to pick up their child in our game. Mom didn't bring any treats. Next time I'd love for each kid to give him a cookie.
As it was, he rocked it. He was really, really good. I was so proud of him. I was also proud of how well my very excited little munchkins listened. They really wanted to pet him but he wasn't interested in going up to them. Time will change that. As soon as this dog figures out that kids like to play it'll be the end of his nerves. And a life long love affair will be born.