Service dogs on the town, on the bus

On Saturday we had our Service dogs on the town class and we rode the bus! The dogs did great, although we had a big accident at the bus stop on the way back.

We met up at the starting bus stop, and Alice (Japanese Chin) did so well with the other dogs! She was excited to see Korra the Standard Poodle and Indy the Golden Retriever, but able to control herself. When Avalanche the Pyrenees mix arrived, who is HUGE, and whom Alice had never met before, Alice did a good job of controlling herself, too! I did have to remind her to look at me several times, though!

Skyler and Korra look at each other with a hint of a smile.
Sabrina looks at the camera as Indy lies on the ground next to her.

As the time for the bus to arrive got closer, I pouched Alice. I didn’t know if they would want us to step into the bus or use the ramp, and Alice is just too small to manage steps well. Plus I’d, be holding her on the bus anyway. So in the pouch she went!

Veronica talks with Phyllis as Alice peeks out of the pouch.
A masked Veronica smiles into the camera as Alice looks bored.

This time (unlike the last bus training we tried to do) the bus stopped for us! So that was our first victory! It took a while to get everyone on board the bus, but we all eventually got on and got settled. We had Brad in his power wheelchair and Sabrina in her manual chair in the two wheelchair spots on the bus. Indy lay on the floor next to Sabrina. I sat behind Brad, and Skyler sat behind me with Korra underneath the seat.

Sabrina feeds Indy treats on the bus.

Phyllis normally sits on the bus at the very back of the bus because Avalanche is too big to fit underneath the seats. That way Avalanche doesn’t take up aisle space. Unfortunately there was a woman at the back of the bus who was terrified of dogs, so that didn’t work this time. The bus driver decided that she would just have people get on and off the bus at the back door, so Avalanche could block the aisle in the front of the bus.

Avalanche on the bus.

The driver was SO nice! She kept complimenting the dogs and didn’t mind when I rang the bell to get off too early.

The dogs all did GREAT! I was so proud of them all! Alice had it easy since she was in a pouch. She just hung out all relaxed in her pouch. There wasn’t any tension in her body at all—I was so happy! Indy had the hardest time because there was nothing for her to brace herself against when the bus started and stopped. But she did such a good job!

Alice on the bus, looking up into the camera.

Korra was perfect, tucking under the seat like an old pro! Avalanche has ridden the bus before, and did a good job as well! Especially not being in the normal spot she’s used to.

We were on the bus about 10 minutes, then got off at Manchester Village. We headed over to an outside eating area that has a Moe’s and a Sake Japan. Everyone else got Moe’s, but Brad and I got hibachi from Sake Japan. The owner was not pleased to have dogs in her restaurant, but once I explained about service dogs, she was OK.

Alice with her tongue out inside Sake Japan.
Brad inside the restaurant. He is wearing blue and red and has a camera on his lap.

We got a table outside in the sun and had a great lunch! We talked and laughed and the dogs got to rest. Skyler and Korra had a great time showing off how Korra can shake Skyler’s foot. For most of the meal, Alice was on my lap. She did a great job there, lying down the whole time I was eating—I was so proud of her!

Alice chilling (and panting) on my lap—it was 71 degrees!

After we ate, I tried putting Alice on the floor and she did a great job of ignoring Indy and Korra under the table.

Korra shaking Skyler’s foot with her paw, while Alice and Indy are behind her.

We did manage to get a few group pictures in front of the fountain, they look great! Everypup except Avalanche looked at the camera.

All the people with dogs sitting in front of the fountain.
And again, from the side!

Then we headed to the bus stop to go home. This bus stop had a sidewalk to stand on, but behind the sidewalk was a big steep hill. While we were waiting for the bus, we all stayed on the sidewalk OK. But when the bus arrived, Sabrina readjusted and her wheels slipped off the sidewalk and she went plummeting down the hill! It was SUPER scary for everyone involved!

Everyone at the bus stop before Sabrina tumbled down the hill.

Sabrina was in a LOT of pain, and the bus driver and another passenger got off the bus to help. Skyler took Indy while Russ and I helped Sabrina up the hill and back to her wheelchair. It was super traumatic, and I just wanted to cry for Sabrina being in so much pain.

The bus ride back was uneventful, and we were all happy to be off the bus and back at the original stop so we could check in with Sabrina some more. Luckily nothing is broken.

Us waving goodbye to the bus after we were dropped off.

Overall it was a good trip—we got lots of good training in with the dogs and they all did a good job on the bus. Hopefully Sabrina will be feeling better soon! We’ve been talking with the bus company, and plans are in the works to fix that bus stop. Pictures below!

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