Today I took Alice to a new store all by herself. It’s been a while since she’s been to a new store alone (without another team), and I wanted to see if she’s really ready for the SDIT label if she passes her Manners Evaluation on Friday.
We hung out outside the store for a few minutes, but as soon as some people passed us and went in, Alice wanted to go through the door, too! Again she had zero trouble with the sliding doors, though the carpeted area between the doors remains interesting to sniff. Luckily it didn’t take her too long to get a nose full and move on!
I was very pleased how well Alice did at the store. She walked around the store like a little champ, with a minimum of stopping! The only exceptions to that were when a large man in a mobility scooter came up behind us a couple of times and when a woman with a double stroller came up behind us. Both of those times, she didn’t want to move to the side of the aisle to let them pass. So I picked her up and let them pass, then put her down again.
She’s OK with people passing who are walking on their own, but I think these were really large objects that she’s not used to, and got a little confused or worried.
We stopped along the way to say hello to a few people, who all loved Alice! She loved them right back, in a very controlled way. I was very proud of her for how well she interacted with people.
Near the end of our first loop around the store, there was a display in the middle of the aisle that made two very small aisles (from Alice’s point of view). Each aisle probably would have had an inch to spare had Brad’s wheelchair tried to fit down it. At first, she stopped and didn’t want to walk through the narrow space. I just stood there and let her puzzle it out on her own. Eventually she went through!
Then we walked up the middle aisle to the store and came back around to the narrow aisle again. This time she did much better and walked through without hesitation. I was so proud!
I didn’t try a lot of the obedience or other things on the Manners Evaluation this outing. I just wanted to work on walking around, confidence, and narrow aisles. And on those things she did very well! I’d give her a solid B on this outing.
I got a few pictures while we were there. I got a few in front of some soccer balls, one in front of some coolers, two in the narrow aisle, and two outside the store with the sign in the background and me holding little Alice. She is a tiny sable and white Japanese Chin wearing a purple harness.