Flash of coffee

(Photos at end) Yesterday Alice had several short outings walking on the floor—including one where I actually carried hot coffee while walking her!

Brad’s computer battery has needed to be replaced for a few months now. Apple kept sending the replacement parts to the wrong location. On Thursday, the parts were finally delivered to the repair shop. So we went in on Friday morning to drop off the computer. The repair center is pet friendly.

Brad kept Hestia on his lap, and I walked with Alice to give her more practice walking in unusual places. Alice did a wonderful job walking up to the door over a very unusual feeling doormat, and walking inside! While Brad was dropping off his computer, Alice was totally comfortable. She was able to move out of the way of people passing through the small office area and approach the counter!

They said the computer would be ready in two hours. In the past when they’ve said that, the computer is ready in an hour to an hour and a half. So we figured instead of driving 20 minutes back home and then coming back pretty soon, we’d head over to the local Starbucks that has outdoor seating.

Brad took Hestia out to the patio area, and Alice and I walked into the restaurant. It is a surprisingly big shop—a really long rectangle. It was almost empty. Alice did great walking in the door and walking the first part of the store. But then we had to walk through a narrow aisle of empty tables and chairs. I tried all the tricks I know to get Alice to walk through the narrow space, but she just wouldn’t do it. She’d take a few steps into it, then back right up out of it. The baristas were all watching us, and I was starting to feel very self conscious, so I just picked her up to walk down this aisle.

As soon as we got past the narrow section, I put Alice back on the ground and she was perfect again. We walked all the way to the end of the store to the area where finished drinks are put. I had ordered ahead on the app, so my drink was hanging out there waiting for me.

Carrying food (especially anything hot) has always been difficult for me. I’ve been known to spill a lot of food on myself and the floor even without a dog. So for me, the first time I carry food while walking with a dog is always a big deal. Alice walked right up to the counter with me, and I grabbed my coffee, and we turned around and walked out of the store! This time Alice walked right down the narrow aisle with no hesitation, and she didn’t pull or do anything to make me worry that I’d spill my drink! I was very proud!

We sat outside to drink my coffee. Unfortunately while the forecast said it would be overcast, it was actually sunny. And I had forgotten the dogs’ cooling vests. I had Alice in my lap lying down and Hestia on the floor next to me. Overall the dogs were very good! Hestia wandered a few times, but I just brought her back to the right spot and she was pretty happy to hang out. Alice only tried to get up twice while I was drinking my coffee.

While I drank my coffee, Brad fooled around with his new camera flash. He got it recently from the Amazon review program we’re a part of. He spent a long time working on settings and angles and got some pretty good shots! They’re at the bottom of this blog entry.

We stayed there for about 45 minutes, but it just got too hot. So we headed back to the car and drove back to the computer repair place’s parking lot. We sat in the van and talked and played on our phones. After all, we figured we’d get the call any minute.

At the two hours mark, the repair place called us to get Brad to turn off the Find my Mac feature which he had thought was off. So we figured they must be just about done and doing a final check. Turns out they had just disassembled his computer! They said it’d be another hour and 15 minutes.

I had to use the bathroom, so I left Hestia and Brad in the car, and headed inside with Alice. As we were approaching the doors, a USPS truck pulled up across the street to the office complex’s mailboxes and started noisily opening and closing the metal boxes. Suddenly Alice didn’t want to do anything but stare at them. Normally I would let her, but I really had to go! So I picked her up and carried her inside to the bathroom.

As we left the bathroom, I put her on the ground and she walked out of the store and back to the car no problem.

An hour and 15 minutes later, we decided to head inside since we figured Brad’s computer would be ready any minute. Alice did a fantastic job walking into the store with me, and Hestia was on Brad’s lap again. Alice happily walked over to the couches and I sat down with Alice on the floor. We worked on some stays, sits, and downs, and I started shaping a loop (left spin). We also approached the counter a few times for practice.

About 15 minutes later, Brad’s computer was finally done!

It was a really really long outing. I was proud of Alice for doing so many short little outings all in one long time period. I think she was getting pretty tired of being out and about like Brad and I were, but she was a little champ. Hestia was just happy to be with us, and didn’t care where that was.

Below are the pictures Brad took at Starbucks. In them, I am a large woman with short brown curly hair wearing a lavender dress. Alice is a sable and white Japanese Chin and Hestia is a black and white Japanese Chin. They are both wearing their new green service dog harnesses. Brad is wearing a blue shirt with small white skulls, a blue blazer with a red brooch, and a white hat. Brad got some great closeups of the girls!

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