Today I got a coupon in my email that today our local Pet Supplies Plus had 20% off if you ordered online and picked up in the store. So I ordered more of Alice’s fish meal topper that she likes so much, plus some freeze dried chicken breast so I have some dry treats I can give her that fit her diet.
I decided to take Alice inside the store and walk around a bit before picking up our order. She was very good!
We got to the entrance, and while she was very distracted by a giant puddle of pee outside it, she eventually left it alone and walked through the doors no problem. Then I remembered it had been a while since she peed! So back out to the parking lot for a potty break.
The second time we entered the store, she ignored the puddle of pee and walked right in! We started heading down one aisle and there was a GIANT Great Dane in the aisle. I decided to turn around and go down a different aisle!
We did a loop of the store and then walked up and down probably about 3/4 of the aisles in the store. Alice did a great job heeling!!!! Her heeling is awesome—well, probably because she likes to walk slowly so I actually have to slow down to match her pace LOL. But she stayed next to me almost the entire time.
She did a lot of looking up to me to get chicken, which was great. Every time she looked at me, she got chicken.
We passed through some narrow display sections, which was good because she struggles with narrow aisles. She sped up to walk through them so I know she’s not totally comfortable in them, but she walked them without hesitating or anything.
We walked past two people, one of whom had a cart. The aisles in this store aren’t super wide to begin with, so there’s really only just room enough for two people side by side in an aisle. That means that Alice had to really work hard to both walk past a person, and do it in a very narrow space. I ended up having to toss some treats on the ground for her to get her to walk past the people. But this is something good to work on as I’ve been hesitating to work on it out of embarrassment. The people we walked past were very kind and stood still for us while we walked past, so that made it a little less challenging.
We worked on some obedience, too. She did her sits wonderfully. We did only one down because she really wasn’t feeling the downs and had to be lured into it. We worked on come, and she rocked it! We’ve really struggled with come in the past, so it was great that she did so well when we really haven’t been practicing it very much.
One of the biggest things Alice struggles with is something being dropped near her. She usually doesn’t seem like she startles too badly—it seems like she handles it OK. But then usually she’ll refuse to walk in the area where the thing was dropped. It’s like she’s expecting something else to be dropped, too. So today I tried something easy and dropped my leather wallet. I dropped it about 2 feet away from her head and not only did she not appear worried, she also walked right in the area where it was dropped no problem!
While walking around we saw the Dane again, and I stopped to talk with the owner. She said her dog weighed 190 lbs! That’s more than 38 times as big as Alice!!!! We were about 7–8 feet apart while talking and Alice completely ignored the Dane, who was whining a little. I was so proud!
Overall she did pretty well. I’d like to work on her confidence more especially in narrow aisles and walking past people. But I’m glad that we’re finally getting to get back out and do training, and that she hasn’t lost anything in our time off.
I had an employee take a picture of us before I picked up the order. In it, I am wearing a blue and purple bohemian dress and Alice is a tiny sable and white Japanese Chin on the floor wearing a purple service dog harness. We also got two selfies outside the store with the store name in the background and Alice and I smiling into the camera.