Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hardy visits Old Quebec Street

Hardy and I visited Old Quebec Street, a small mall in downtown Guelph near St. Georges Square. We found a spot on the street and again, Hardy walked next to my power chair. We found a lovely little park before heading into the mall. Hardy was a perfect gentleman, although he didn't think it was fair that some kids were getting to play in a fountain and I wouldn't let him. Again, everyone we met was terrific about stopping to say hello to Hardy and give him a treat. One gentleman asked me who I was raising the puppy for and I told him that hopefully, Hardy would grow up to be my service dog. He gave me a very concerned look and asked, "Oh, are you having trouble with your vision?" So I had another opportunity to educate an interested person about service dogs other than guides. When we headed into the mall, we walked around the public area window shopping and stopping to meet even more people. A Mountie was walking right towards us and just in case he was going to tell me that service dogs in training don't have any access rights (it's true, in Ontario, allowing SDiTs into public accommodations is based on courtesy, not law), I went up to him and asked if he would help me train my future service dog. He was very gracious and actually knelt down to say hi to Hardy and give him some pats and a treat. Later, we met a police officer riding a bicycle with a helmet and eye goggles plus his uniform who was also willing to help train the "service puppy" (as he called him). We met up with Sue and stopped in a candy store so she could get some fudge for John. I put Hardy up on my lap because I didn't want to entice him with too many great smells when he had done such a great job our entire visit! We successfully headed out of the mall with Hardy walking next to me again and went back out to find the van. It was another lovely short visit with Hardy relaxed and enjoying himself. With both Laurel and Hardy at such a young age, when I go out in public with them, my goal is to have an short easy trip with the puppy experiencing complete success. So far, so good.

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