Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hardy & I Spent the Day at the Mobility Place & Auto Dealership

When it got hot here last week, I discovered that for the fourth time since I've had my 4 year old wheelchair-modified Honda Odyssey, the air conditioning was not working again. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my van and would recommend it but I am getting tired of the unending air conditioning problems.
I needed to take it down to Akron (about an hour from here) to Mobility Works (the wheelchair van dealership) so that they could determine what was wrong and what they needed to do to fix it. I decided to take Hardy with me so that he could practice some public access. We got there at about 10:15 am and spent about 3 hours in the waiting room. Besides having Hardy practice laying around with things going on around him, we also spent some time working on having him pick up his leash and his mat for me. Since there wasn't anyone else in the waiting room for part of the time, I felt comfortable clicker training there. 
Hardy was terrific and when we left, we practiced the new way I'm going to have him get into his crate when we're out by ourselves - he gets up on the backseat before I get in with my chair; then I move the crate so that the opening is to the back. When I ask him to, he jumps off the seat into the crate. He's getting very good at it and it's working well for us.
While we were down in Akron, I stopped by the Honda dealership to have our oil & filter changed and our tires rotated. Once again, Hardy spent the time in the waiting room. There were more people there but most were very polite and didn't approach Hardy or attempt to entice him to interact with them. Occasionally, I will release him with " Do you want to say hello" to go over and get petted. Usually, though, I explain that when he has his vest on and is working, it would be better to ignore him because he is very friendly and would love to say hello and get petted but then it's harder for him to do his job.
Hardy hanging out at the mobility van dealership

We left there at about 2:30 and headed up to our agility class. For the first part of the class, Hardy was butt-tucking all over the ring, taking extra tunnels, not paying close attention but generally having a wonderful time! About half way through, he suddenly focused again and did an amazing job with an 18 obstacle course. He also did his first full-height teeter totter without any hesitation or reluctance! As we were leaving, our instructor, Ana asked me what we'd learned ... apparently, I incorrectly answered when I said that I'd learned my dog was a lunatic. Ana seemed to think the lesson was that Hardy needs a bit of time going from a long day of working and looking after me and then getting to play on the agility equipment. I'm guessing that's closer to the correct answer!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Y'all,

    I did a post today about the stupid things people do around strange dogs in public places. The final paragraph addressed the issue of approaching assistance dogs...don't. The more we can put that info out there, the more people will be aware.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog