Service dogs on the town—after the storm

Today we had our first service dogs on the town class since the start of the pandemic. There was a big tornado warning that ended about an hour before class, so it was touch and go for a while if we were even going to have it today!

Luckily the skies cleared, and we were able to have class!

It was so great to see people again, and to get to train around other service dog teams.

We started out waiting outside Home Depot, but then it started to rain so we headed inside.

It took a while, but eventually everyone arrived and we were able to start. We worked on orientation cues for a bit, and then focused on dog distraction. We all walked past each other and practiced the dogs being near each other.

Then this manager came over and wanted to talk with me. He asked me what we were doing, and I told him we were all training our service dogs together. He asked me if we had “permission” to train our dogs in the store. I was like “huh?”. I said no, that we all had service dogs or dogs in training, and were working them together. So I offered that we would walk around the store more instead of being so stationary. That seemed to appease him a little, so off we went!

We walked up and down the aisles, with different dogs leading the way each time so everyone got a chance to be in the front and back.

Then we found an aisle in the back of the store and worked on the CGC greet. All the dogs did so well!

We decided to end on a positive note, even though it was a little early, and we headed out of the store.

We went over to Starbucks next. I ordered ahead of time using the app (and got 50% off!) which was good because the store was so crowded it was making me super anxious!

We sat outside, and luckily the rain held off for a while for us to be able to spend time talking and hanging out.

It was so good to see everyone, and all the dogs were SO SO good! I was impressed with all of us!

I was particularly proud of Hestia, she focused so well around the other dogs and was able to look at me on her own without me reminding her! She did have some trouble heeling when she was at the back of the line of dogs. She really wanted to catch up with her friends!!! So I had to click really quickly for position and give lots of treats.

But at the end of class I was very overstimulated! We got in the car and I started to fall apart, thinking that class was horrible, everyone hated me, hated the class, was mad at me, and so on. After we dropped Scarlet off, I went into a big panic attack.

But I was also really tired, because I haven’t slept well the last two nights due to pain and trouble breathing while lying down. So I was really anxious and really tired at the same time.

I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I took a melatonin and went to bed super early. Luckily after my first sleep I felt better. Plus Brad was able to get the pictures edited while I was asleep!

You can see the pictures below! Though I forgot to get a picture of Brad 🙁

I am a round white woman with brown hair in a crown braid around my head. I am wearing a pink dress with birds on it, and a purple, blue and green mask. Hestia is a small white and black dog with a smushed nose and googley eyes wearing a purple vest.

Scarlet is wearing black leggings and a black shirt saying “the future is accessible”, has teal/green hair, and is in a purple wheelchair.

Skyler is wearing black pants and a grey shirt with a black mask, and has light red hair. They are partnered with a sable Standard Poodle puppy (apricot with black tips) who has a black and burgundy vest on when we’re at Starbucks.

Sabrina is in a blue wheelchair, wearing jeans and a red jacket and a blue mask. They are paired with Indy, a Golden wearing a pink raincoat underneath a pink vest.

Tammy has long dark hair and is wearing a purple shirt with a graphic of her poodle on it saying “service dog on duty, do not interact”. She is wearing a purple and blue mask, and is paired with a black Standard Poodle named Phoebe who is wearing a black harness and flower hair clips.

Barbara has blond hair and is wearing a pink shirt and mask. Tripper is her Golden Retriever wearing a turquoise vest.

Phyllis has short blonde hair, and is wearing a blue mask and a blue shirt that says “It’s not dog hair, it’s Great Pyrenees glitter”. She is paired with a large white Great Pyrenees wearing a pink vest.

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