Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hardy and I Spent Sunday Afternoon at A Dog's Life in Chesterland, OH

Hardy and I had the wonderful opportunity to "meet and greet" customers on behalf of Canine Affair Center at  A Dog's Life, in Chesterland, OH, Sunday. Unlike many service dog handlers, I don't normally take my SD or SDiT to pet stores (like PetSmart or Pet Supplies Plus) because I've seen too many ill-behaved dogs in those stores. In fact, I have come down an aisle and found a small dog whose person was at the end of a flexi while standing in a different aisle. However, A Dog's Life has a nice large space in the middle of the store as well as a big office at the back I knew we could retreat into if things got too crazy while we were there. 
All in all, we had a wonderful time! When we first arrived, the store was very quiet so I did some clicker training - among other things, reminding Hardy that "go to your mat" means the same thing even when we're in the middle of a retail store filled with all sorts of wonderful dog-related items! Once the store got busy, Hardy did lovely down stays while waiting to see if someone wanted to say hello to him. If they did, I released him and told him to "go say hi". He especially enjoyed having some friends stop by and turned himself inside out when he saw his Border Collie friend, Xen! When I told him "that's enough", he settled right back down and went back to his down stay. Our friend, Mary (from Canine Affair) came and spent some time with us. And when a Papillon came into the store and barked at Hardy, he looked at Mary as if to ask her why he was doing that! 
Being in the store provided some wonderful opportunities - walking through the aisles filled with dog food, toys and treats without checking any of them out and doing a "paws up" at the counter with "Uncle Ted" and Michelle providing treats as a reward! At one point a number of loud, less-controlled dogs came in and Hardy and I retreated to the office. We came home with a couple toys and new treats (chicken jerky)! Hardy would love to go back and hang out again real soon!
Hardy practicing "paws up" at the counter 

Hardy's really sure he could learn to use the cash register!

Do you need some help, "Uncle Ted"? Or do you have any more treats?

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