Yesterday we went to the grocery store really quickly (30 min!) because bratwurst was on super sale. It is interesting going to the grocery store as people with disabilities. People treat you, um, interestingly!
First of all, Hestia was really great in the store! I was very proud of her, especially since she hadn’t been out at all since Thursday. She heeled perfectly, left it every time she was asked, and walked right on top of several food items on the floor throughout the store without even trying to sniff them.
Of course as is the case with a service dog, people stop and stare with smiles on their faces in amazement at this little dog behaving perfectly. This I don’t mind so much– I would have done the same before I got a service dog!
Lots of people tried to talk with Hestia. For all but one, she just looked at me. For one particular person who was looming over her and talking really loudly, she kept backing up closer and closer to me and staring at them, keeping an eye on them. I intervened with an “ignore” command (which means nothing to Hestia, I say it so that the person will get the hint). The person asked me what the ignore command meant, so I said “It means she’s supposed to ignore you just like you’re supposed to ignore her” and they laughed and walked away.
At one point in the deli section, I was clear at the other end of the aisle from Brad, and of course Hestia was with me. A deli worker approached Brad and told him what a well behaved service dog he had!!! I know many people assume Hestia is for Brad since he has a visible disability, but really, I was at the other end of the aisle! What good would Hestia have done as his service dog that far away? He did tell the person that she was my service dog.
The best interaction of the day, though, was entirely Brad’s. He was coming out of an aisle into the main walkway. A woman who was walking down the main walkway (and so in no way impeding Brad’s movement) stopped, her mouth dropped open a bit, and she backed her cart up almost two aisle lengths. She then stood there next to her cart smiling broadly, staring at Brad, like she was extremely proud of herself! We think she was proud that she had moved out of his way?
And all of this was in just 30 minutes! Imagine what it’s like when we’re out longer! Ah well, we make quite the pair with Brad in his power chair and me with my cute little service dog.