Elevating our training


Yesterday we had our monthly Service Dogs on the Town class! This class was at the Hilton Garden Inn, and we worked on elevators and stairs.

Brad, Scarlet, and I arrived quite early and I let Hestia potty in the grass outside the hotel while we chatted. It is so nice having Scarlet back in town!

Barbara with Tripper was next to arrive. They also arrived early, so we got to do about 15 minutes of training before class started. Hestia LOVES Tripper and has a hard time staying focused around him. I think it’s because he’s not neutered maybe? We stood around and talked some and worked on being calm.

Then when the dogs were calm, we started working on walking past each other at close quarters. First Hestia and I walked past Barbara and Tripper, and both dogs did great! Then we had Tripper walk in front of Hestia a few times, and again both dogs did great. Finally it was time for the big challenge– having Hestia in a sit stay and Tripper walking behind her. I was so proud of Hestia and Tripper, they got really close and both dogs were perfect!

Finally, we had a bit of fun working on our spins (“loop” is my spin command). We managed to get Hestia and Tripper spinning at the same time! It was great!

When Phyllis and Avalanche showed up, Avalanche was a bit stressed so we hung out outside the hotel for a while for all the pups to settle. Then we headed inside.

Tripper has had a negative experience with an elevator in the past, but he was really good with the elevator in the hotel! Avalanche is a pro at elevators, going in and immediately lying down for a rest while the elevator does its magic. We ended up all riding the elevator at least once.

Then we headed over to the stairs. We worked on going up one step at a time, which was new for both Tripper and Avalanche. The dogs did great! But these two experiences were enough for them, and they were getting about done with learning, so we ended the training part of the class 5 minutes early and headed over to Panera.

I was very proud of Hestia holding the door open at Panera for the other teams to pass– well, I held the door and Hestia sat next to me! We all ordered (the pups did GREAT!) and then found our seats.

We had a great time talking about bathrooms and gear mostly. I’m sure the other patrons were a little embarrassed or confused as to why we were discussing the bathroom in such great detail– we were talking about how to fit in a regular sized stall with a large breed dog! But it was pretty helpful I think.

It was a great class, and I am really looking forward to our airport trip next month! Pictures are below.

Veronica, a woman with long curly brown hair wearing a dark teal dress with a white belt and collar stands in front of a hotel.  In front of her sits Hestia, a small white and black Japanese Chin dog with a smushed face wearing a purple vest.  Next to them stands Scarlet, who has short hair that is shaved on the sides and is turquoise.  They are wearing purple pants and a grey top and sweater.
Veronica, a woman with long curly brown hair wearing a dark teal dress with a white belt and collar stands in front of a hotel. In front of her sits Hestia, a small white and black Japanese Chin dog with a smushed face wearing a purple vest. Next to them stands Scarlet, who has short hair that is shaved on the sides and is turquoise. They are wearing purple pants and a grey top and sweater.
Tripper, a Golden Retriever wearing a blue vest, stands next to his person and looks at the camera, smiling.
Tripper, a Golden Retriever wearing a blue vest, stands next to his person and looks at the camera, smiling.
Barbara, a blond woman with a blue top and black pants, looks down at Tripper.  Tripper looks back up at her.
Barbara, a blond woman with a blue top and black pants, looks down at Tripper. Tripper looks back up at her.
Barbara stands in front of Tripper and pets his head.  Tripper looks like he's really enjoying the attention.
Barbara stands in front of Tripper and pets his head. Tripper looks like he’s really enjoying the attention.
Barbara feeds Tripper a treat as he walks about 4 feet in front of Hestia.  Veronica is bending over and giving Hestia a treat as Tripper passes.  Scarlet looks on approvingly.
Barbara feeds Tripper a treat as he walks about 4 feet in front of Hestia. Veronica is bending over and giving Hestia a treat as Tripper passes. Scarlet looks on approvingly.
Veronica stands and looks down at Hestia, talking to her (probably saying "good girl!").  Hestia lies on the ground next to Veronica.  Barbara with Tripper approaches to walk about 3 feet behind Hestia.  Tripper is looking lovingly at Barbara.
Veronica stands and looks down at Hestia, talking to her (probably saying “good girl!”). Hestia lies on the ground next to Veronica. Barbara with Tripper approaches to walk about 3 feet behind Hestia. Tripper is looking lovingly at Barbara.
Shot from a low angle, Tripper is in the foreground looking upward.  Veronica is smiling in the background and you can barely see Hestia on the ground.
Shot from a low angle, Tripper is in the foreground looking upward. Veronica is smiling in the background and you can barely see Hestia on the ground.
Shot from the same low angle, Tripper does a spin!  Veronica and Scarlet are in the background.
Shot from the same low angle, Tripper does a spin! Veronica and Scarlet are in the background.
Veronica and Barbara stand about 6 feet apart.  Hestia and Tripper are doing spins at the same time while the picture is being taken.  Tripper is more controlled, whereas Hestia's spin involves three feet being off the ground.
Veronica and Barbara stand about 6 feet apart. Hestia and Tripper are doing spins at the same time while the picture is being taken. Tripper is more controlled, whereas Hestia’s spin involves three feet being off the ground.
Hestia lies on the pavement.
Hestia lies on the pavement.
Phyllis, a woman wearing jeans and a dark blue shirt, walks into the hotel with Avalanche, a large white Great Pyrenees mix.
Phyllis, a woman wearing jeans and a dark blue shirt, walks into the hotel with Avalanche, a large white Great Pyrenees mix.
Phyllis with Avalanche walks onto the elevator.  Scarlet follows.  Veronica stands next in line, with Hestia in a sit.  Barbara stands to the back, and Tripper looks on interestedly.
Phyllis with Avalanche walks onto the elevator. Scarlet follows. Veronica stands next in line, with Hestia in a sit. Barbara stands to the back, and Tripper looks on interestedly.
Tripper is a happy boy in perfect heel coming off the elevator.
Tripper is a happy boy in perfect heel coming off the elevator.
A black and white shot of Barbara with Tripper, Phyllis with Avalanche, Scarlet, and Veronica with Hestia walking down the hallway of the hotel.
A black and white shot of Barbara with Tripper, Phyllis with Avalanche, Scarlet, and Veronica with Hestia walking down the hallway of the hotel.
Veronica shows how to train a dog to go up one step at a time using Hestia as a prop.  Also in the crowded stairway are Barbara with Tripper and Avalanche.
Veronica shows how to train a dog to go up one step at a time using Hestia as a prop. Also in the crowded stairway are Barbara with Tripper and Avalanche.
Phyllis goes down the stairs, using Avalanche to steady herself.
Phyllis goes down the stairs, using Avalanche to steady herself.
Barbara gets a treat ready as Tripper waits on the steps in this black and white photo.  Hestia is in the corner of the picture, looking up at Veronica.
Barbara gets a treat ready as Tripper waits on the steps in this black and white photo. Hestia is in the corner of the picture, looking up at Veronica.
A black and white photo of the backs of Veronica with Hestia walking through the hotel.  You can see Tripper's rear end in front of Hestia.  Hestia is looking up at Veronica.
A black and white photo of the backs of Veronica with Hestia walking through the hotel. You can see Tripper’s rear end in front of Hestia. Hestia is looking up at Veronica.
Veronica stands against a brick wall holding Hestia, who is looking off into the distance.
Veronica stands against a brick wall holding Hestia, who is looking off into the distance.
Brad, a man in a power chair wearing a merlot blazer, rust tie, brown scarf, and brown newsboy hat, sits in front of a brick wall.  Veronica leans over next to him, smiling and holding Hestia, who is also looking at the camera.
Brad, a man in a power chair wearing a merlot blazer, rust tie, brown scarf, and brown newsboy hat, sits in front of a brick wall. Veronica leans over next to him, smiling and holding Hestia, who is also looking at the camera.
Veronica with Hestia holds the door open to Panera while Barbara with Tripper walks through.
Veronica with Hestia holds the door open to Panera while Barbara with Tripper walks through.
Barbara pays while Tripper sits next to her.  Phyllis and Avalanche wait in line.
Barbara pays while Tripper sits next to her. Phyllis and Avalanche wait in line.
Veronica pays while Hestia sits in front of her, looking up.
Veronica pays while Hestia sits in front of her, looking up.
A shot of blueberry muffins in Panera.
A shot of blueberry muffins in Panera.
A black and white photo of sleepy Hestia on Veronica's lap.
A black and white photo of sleepy Hestia on Veronica’s lap.
As shot from above, everyone sits and relaxes at Panera.
As shot from above, everyone sits and relaxes at Panera.
A great picture of Scarlet smiling!
A great picture of Scarlet smiling!
A close up of Brad's pin.  It is a brown dog with white polka dots and a rhinestone collar. Its paw is stretched out toward a large with polka dot on Brad's scarf.
A close up of Brad’s pin. It is a brown dog with white polka dots and a rhinestone collar. Its paw is stretched out toward a large with polka dot on Brad’s scarf.
Brad smiles at the camera, showing off his shirt of brown and orange and green chrysanthemums.
Brad smiles at the camera, showing off his shirt of brown and orange and green chrysanthemums.
Brad looks surprised in a happy way.  His brown scarf is the same color as his brown dog pin, and both have white spots on them!
Brad looks surprised in a happy way. His brown scarf is the same color as his brown dog pin, and both have white spots on them!

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