Thursday, February 15, 2007

Big Brown Barky Dogs at Big Box Retailers

Why is it that when I am most despairing that Belle will ever pass muster as a fully-trained, excellent service dog she surprises me with a virtuoso performance?

Yesterday, Belle and I went to a big box retailer to pick up some household essentials and practice various cues. We wandered around the corner of an aisle and found ourselves face to face with a man and his big, brown, barky dog (thank-you again, JM for this terrific phrase). Both dogs were startled but while Belle sat down and looked up at me for guidance, the big, brown, barky dog reared back and roared. I told Belle to "leave it" and we calmly walked away down another aisle. She didn't look back even once, she just walked easily at heel despite the commotion behind us. At the end of the aisle, I stopped to praise her lavishly. Meanwhile, the BBBD and his owner were getting a talking to from the store manager.

Admittedly, I didn't get a great look at the BBBD because I was focused on Belle. However, I saw no pack or special harness that indicated the dog was an official service or guide dog. But official or no, Belle handled her first encounter with another dog in a working setting like a pro. What a great girl!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lu! Lynn (and Koda) here. I found your blog. Belle is quite the correspondent!!!!

Here's the blog I was telling you about:

Go back and read from the first week through the next three or four weeks. Its amazing!

Nancy and Maisie said...

Dear Lu and Belle:

Sounds like a big, brown, barky, snarky dog!

Belle, you just passed one of the sometimes most difficult elements of the ADI public access test; being able to remain calm when seeing an unknown dog. Kudos to you both!

M and N

Speak(er) said...

Thanks, Lynn! Check out my new list of "Favorite Links".

Hi Mom and Nancy: Thanks for reading about that terrible dog. Snarky's right! Lu didn't even tell you about the way I made the two year-old in line stop crying while his mom checked out. I just kept thumping my tail every time he looked at me and pretty soon he was smiling and pointing and calling me "goggie". It was a great day - I even got yogurt when we got home.