Today we took Alice to Earth Fare for the first time. She’s sat outside of the store many times before, but this was her first time inside. I decided to pouch her and just have it be an exposure instead of a training outing since we have puppy class tonight.
She was a little uncomfortable at the start, a little unsure of things, but she settled in quickly. We got the ginger drink I needed plus some stuff for Brad, then headed over to the chocolate. My Dr. Bronner’s chocolate which is sweetened with coconut sugar was on sale for half price! So I got several bars of it. Brad wasn’t pleased with how much I was spending on chocolate, so I got a little upset with him because we got Earth Fare gift certificates for Xmas so I felt like I could treat myself. This caused Alice to tense up.
So I relaxed, and she relaxed. She did a good job in most of the rest of the store. I only got chocolate and ginger drink, so the rest of the time in the store I was petting Alice, pushing the cart, and monitoring how tensely she was holding her muscles to give me an indication of if she was stressed. I also got things off the shelves for Brad.
She did get nervous again when we entered the frozen section. It’s the first time we’ve been in a frozen food section of a store of any kind, so this is pretty normal. She was tense and shook a little bit, so I hurried through that aisle. When we were out of it, she relaxed again immediately.
She was calm as a cucumber as I unloaded the basket onto the belt and paid. We got several compliments about how cute she was in the store, and zero access challenges. One store employee stopped and looked like he was going to say something, then he looked like he was reading the patches, and he walked on. So it was a pretty nice outing.
Brad got a picture of us with my phone in the chip aisle. I am wearing a grey sweater dress and a KN95 mask. Alice is a tiny sable and white Japanese Chin in a muted rainbow pouch. The pouch has a big silver “service dog” patch across the middle, and a clip-on “service dog in training” patch on one side.