A Lidl training, a lot of fun 2


Yesterday we had my Service Dogs on the Town class! We went to Lidl, which is a grocery store, and then to Starbucks.

Brad and I needed to get some grocery shopping done before class, so we SPED around the store grabbing stuff left and right and throwing it in our cart. We actually got done in less than 30 minutes!

Then we waited outside for people to show up. First to show up was Tammy with Phoebe. Hestia smelled Phoebe before she saw her and was VERY excited– Hestia loves Phoebe! I did an OK job of keeping Hestia’s attention on me as Phoebe approached and we hung out waiting for others to arrive. Hestia only tried to go say hello two or three times in the 15 minutes we were waiting (both we and Tammy always show up 15 min early!).

Next to arrive was Hannah! She is currently dogless, but has a really cute poodle toy with googley eyes like Hestia! She was a lot of fun to meet!

When Phyllis with Avalanche arrived, she told us she had bought a new mobility harness for Avalanche. So we went over to her car to help her put it on. At first I tried to help her put it on, and I had Hannah hold Hestia. Normally Hestia simply tolerates other people holding her and there is a fair amount of squirming to get away. But Hestia really liked Hannah and was happy to be held by her!

After a while I was stumped on the fit of the harness, so Tammy went to help. She had me hold Phoebe while she helped. It was so funny that we traded dogs around, but great practice for the dogs!

While we were finishing up, Sabrina arrived. Her dog is too young to go to a no pet place just yet. But in a few months, you’ll be seeing Indy (Golden)!

We headed into Lidl and worked at first on not sniffing food items. I was very impressed with Hestia. She found her brain quite quickly and I didn’t need to hold onto the leash for most of the store!

Then we did some figure 8s around each other, which Brad got a video of. All three dogs did a great job either heeling or staying during this exercise. As I was giving instructions for where to go next, a woman tried to talk with me about our service dogs, so I gave “I can’t talk” body language after briefly answering her first question and turned my back to her to talk with the people in the class and she went away. Later on I pointed that out as a good way to deflect questions– using your body language to say that you aren’t available.

We did a loop around the store, and again Hestia was pretty much perfect! She even ignored some bits of paper on the floor totally!

Then we stopped to talk about how to train a dog not to sniff things and a few other things that I can’t remember at the moment.

Finally, we went to the entrance and worked on carts passing. We learned how if a dog is worried about something, it is important to have treats ready and feed when that thing is approaching and passing by. This way they usually are so excited about treats that they aren’t caring about the scary thing.

It was cold outside, so we headed to Starbucks to talk more. All six of us crowded around a couple of little tables and we had a great time talking about all sorts of service dog related stuff like stress signs, gear, how to find a breeder, etc. It was so fun that we stayed longer than we intended!

It was a really really great class. I had so much fun, and I think the others did, too. We really enjoy this class!

Brad got LOTS of pictures! Hestia is a small white and black Japanese Chin with a smushed face and googley eyes, and she is wearing her galaxy vest. Phoebe is a black Standard Poodle wearing a pink vest. Avalanche is a white Great Pyrenees mix who was wearing her new tan leather harness with a standing handle. Before the pictures I have linked the video.

Veronica, a woman with brown curly long hair, smiles into the camera.  This is the result of Veronica asking Brad to take a picture of her, meaning her and Hestia, and Brad thinking she wanted a picture of just herself!
Veronica, a woman with brown curly long hair, smiles into the camera. This is the result of Veronica asking Brad to take a picture of her, meaning her and Hestia, and Brad thinking she wanted a picture of just herself!
Hestia's back is to the camera, and she looks up and to the right at Veronica (off camera) as someone walks a cart by in the background.  You can see her galaxy vest with "service dog do not pet" on the back.
Hestia’s back is to the camera, and she looks up and to the right at Veronica (off camera) as someone walks a cart by in the background. You can see her galaxy vest with “service dog do not pet” on the back.
A closeup of Phoebe's vest and gear.  She is wearing a pink patterned collar, and a pink vest that says "service dog do not pet" on the side.  She has a "please don't pet me I'm working" patch in black, white, and pink hanging on the side.  A black traffic lead hangs off of her collar, too.
A closeup of Phoebe’s vest and gear. She is wearing a pink patterned collar, and a pink vest that says “service dog do not pet” on the side. She has a “please don’t pet me I’m working” patch in black, white, and pink hanging on the side. A black traffic lead hangs off of her collar, too.
A black and white photo of Phoebe looking just off to the right.  You can see her chest strap wrap that says "service dog" and has symbols for stop, don't talk, don't touch, and something else that isn't visible.
A black and white photo of Phoebe looking just off to the right. You can see her chest strap wrap that says “service dog” and has symbols for stop, don’t talk, don’t touch, and something else that isn’t visible.
Hestia leaps up to get a treat from Veronica, both front feet in the air, as Phoebe sits by and watches.
Hestia leaps up to get a treat from Veronica, both front feet in the air, as Phoebe sits by and watches.
The Lidl sign has a blue background with a red outline of a circle, filled in in yellow.  The i is in red, and the rest of the letters in blue.
The Lidl sign has a blue background with a red outline of a circle, filled in in yellow. The i is in red, and the rest of the letters in blue.
A blooming tree with sparse clusters of small brown flowers and otherwise bare branches, outside of Lidl.
A blooming tree with sparse clusters of small brown flowers and otherwise bare branches, outside of Lidl.
In this picture, the colors have been shifted. It looks like Hestia and the concrete she's lying on are in black and white except for purple undertones where Hestia's skin normally has pink undertones, and the landscaping mulch looks purple with fuchsia plants and Hestia's vest looks green.  It is a beautiful effect.
In this picture, the colors have been shifted. It looks like Hestia and the concrete she’s lying on are in black and white except for purple undertones where Hestia’s skin normally has pink undertones, and the landscaping mulch looks purple with fuchsia plants and Hestia’s vest looks green. It is a beautiful effect.
Phoebe lies down with her butt to the camera,  looking over her shoulder as if she is he most beautiful poodle that ever lived—and she knows it!
Phoebe lies down with her butt to the camera, looking over her shoulder as if she is he most beautiful poodle that ever lived—and she knows it!
Veronica smiles and holds Phoebe.
Veronica smiles and holds Phoebe.
Hannah smiles and holds Hestia and her toy poodle.
Hannah smiles and holds Hestia and her toy poodle.
Phyllis with Avalanche walks toward the camera, and Brad has edited the sky in this picture to be a dramatic bright blue.
Phyllis with Avalanche walks toward the camera, and Brad has edited the sky in this picture to be a dramatic bright blue.
Hestia and Phoebe enter the store.
Hestia and Phoebe enter the store.
Everyone stands in a circle near the bakery section.
Everyone stands in a circle near the bakery section.
Avalanche expectantly and glowingly looks up at Phyllis, with just a tiny bit of drool hanging down. Avalanche is treat-motivated!
Avalanche expectantly and glowingly looks up at Phyllis, with just a tiny bit of drool hanging down. Avalanche is treat-motivated!
From underneath Avalanche's belly, Hestia sits on the other side.
From underneath Avalanche’s belly, Hestia sits on the other side.
Phyllis with Avalanche, Veronica with Hestia, Tammy with Phoebe, and Sabrina walk through the aisles of Lidl.
Phyllis with Avalanche, Veronica with Hestia, Tammy with Phoebe, and Sabrina walk through the aisles of Lidl.
From behind, Tammy with Phoebe, Veronica with Hestia, and Phyllis with Avalanche walk through the frozen section right next to the hip-height freezers.
From behind, Tammy with Phoebe, Veronica with Hestia, and Phyllis with Avalanche walk through the frozen section right next to the hip-height freezers.
One bottle in color and the rest in black and white, a bottle of something with an embossed flur de lis on the neck.
One bottle in color and the rest in black and white, a bottle of something with an embossed flur de lis on the neck.
Everyone stands around in a back aisle of Lidl. Veronica is explaining something as all the humans and Hestia watch her.
Everyone stands around in a back aisle of Lidl. Veronica is explaining something as all the humans and Hestia watch her.
Phoebe lies down and looks into the camera. Hestia's head is in the background behind Phoebe, but only as a blurry face-like blob facing the camera.
Phoebe lies down and looks into the camera. Hestia’s head is in the background behind Phoebe, but only as a blurry face-like blob facing the camera.
A woman pushes a shopping cart past all the puppers.
A woman pushes a shopping cart past all the puppers.
A black and white photo of Veronica with Hestia leaving Lidl, looking at each other as they pass through the opening automatic doors.
A black and white photo of Veronica with Hestia leaving Lidl, looking at each other as they pass through the opening automatic doors.
Phoebe sits, looking very royal except for the right side of her upper lip being propped up on a tooth, and she looks into the camera.
Phoebe sits, looking very royal except for the right side of her upper lip being propped up on a tooth, and she looks into the camera.
Phoebe gets a treat, Hestia lies down, and Phyllis works to desensitize Avalanche to the harness moving.
Phoebe gets a treat, Hestia lies down, and Phyllis works to desensitize Avalanche to the harness moving.
A black and white photo of Phoebe stretching, with one leg extended fully out and her pom pom tail straight up.
A black and white photo of Phoebe stretching, with one leg extended fully out and her pom pom tail straight up.
Veronica pushes a cart past Avalanche, who doesn't care as she is getting treats.
Veronica pushes a cart past Avalanche, who doesn’t care as she is getting treats.
Everyone sits around the tables in Starbucks.
Everyone sits around the tables in Starbucks.
The happy couple, Veronica and Brad lean in and smile.
The happy couple, Veronica and Brad lean in and smile.
Brad kisses Veronica on the cheek while Veronica smiles.  Hestia looks totally unenthused. "Ewww, gross" she says—or maybe she's sad because she hates to miss out on any kissing!
Brad kisses Veronica on the cheek while Veronica smiles. Hestia looks totally unenthused. “Ewww, gross” she says—or maybe she’s sad because she hates to miss out on any kissing!

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2 thoughts on “A Lidl training, a lot of fun

  • Sabrina Tolle

    Had such a great time. It was awesome to experience the dogs and their teammates working together. It was also interesting to watch the shoppers getting glimpses of the teams working. Thank you for an awesome event.

  • Deb and The Cop

    Brad, you sure took a lot of great photos, and the “experimental” ones were cool!
    The best picture is the second to last in this grouping: Brad, V, & Hestia, all looking at camera.
    The second best picture for me was the last pic: Brad kissing V while Miss Hessie contemplates vomiting…

    How do I follow you on this site? I used to get everything you posted, but now I get nothing!
    Thanks for any help…
    Wait a minute: I just saw a “Subscribe Here” and a place for my email addy – I THINK that’s all I needed…
    xxoo D&C