Many innings in our outing

Today Felix and I went to four places with Sabrina and Jude (formerly known as Scarlet).

We started out at the NAMI building, where it was time for coffee and conversation. Our friend Joseph was there with his dog Lady, but Lady wasn’t feeling so hot so he left early. Other than us, Jennifer, Marija, and Pat came to hang out. And our friend Betsey brought a fun spring craft for us to do!

We had a lot of fun hanging out and chatting. I couldn’t do the craft because I was too busy training Felix. But I was able to chat while Sabrina, Marija, and Pat did the craft. It was fun!

Next we headed to a shopping center that has several stores and restaurants in it. This way we could park once and then go around in our wheelchairs to wherever we needed to go.

We started out at Panera. Felix did a good job in the restaurant. He was on my lap as we ordered, and he mostly stayed sitting there hanging out like a good boy. At one point something spooked him (I don’t know what) and he started squirming around, but soon settled down.

For the first time, I got a fountain drink while Felix was with me, and he didn’t mind the sounds of the drink machine or ice machine at all!

We went outside to eat, and the workers very nicely brought our food out to us instead of making us go in to get it. They really treated us so well! When Sabrina’s sandwich had the wrong bread on it, they re-made the sandwich really fast and let her keep the old sandwich to take home to give to her husband!

Felix is starting to get the hang of restaurants! I have to reward him every few minutes for staying in his down on the mat, but so long as I do, he does a good job of just hanging out. He did get a little distracted and try to eat a few leaves, though!

Next Jude had to get some masking tape and a sharpie, so we headed to Michael’s. While Jude looked for masking tape, I parked my wheelchair and did a little walking training with Felix. He was fantastic in Michael’s!!! He was heeling beautifully and was able to ignore the fake plants that were hanging over into the aisle.

After we found the masking tape and Jude and Sabrina went to pay for their items, I parked my chair at the front of the store and was able to do some training around the displays of Easter items. Again Felix did wonderfully! I also was able to walk in and out of the door a few times.

After Michael’s, Jude wanted to go home. But my biggest goal for today was to practice in TJ Maxx. So Jude agreed we could go there but just for 10 minutes.

They went to look for clothes while Sabrina watched Felix and me practice the doors a few times. He did really well with the doors—automatic doors are no problem for Felix!

Then Sabrina and I headed back to an empty aisle where I went through all the Manners Evaluation test items. Felix did OK, but not great at them. I was really stressed out trying to rush through the test items, and that didn’t help at all. He would have passed, but not with flying colors. He would have gotten a lot of 3s on the 5 point scale.

While we waited for Jude to get done and come over to us, Sabrina and I looked at the dog toys. Suddenly we saw a tiny woman with a giant Great Dane coming to the toy area, too! The dog had a harness on that I thought was a service dog harness, so I got about 8 feet away and asked if it was a service dog. She said he was a pet, and just then the dog saw us and growled and dragged the woman over to us! She had zero control over the dog! Luckily I had Felix in my lap and was able to turn quickly and zoom off in my wheelchair.

Sabrina saw me leaving and went to follow. The Dane was in a side aisle, about 8 feet down the side aisle. I don’t think Sabrina had seen the dog go after Felix, and she started to pass in the main aisle. For a normal dog, 8 feet away would be enough to be out of harm’s way. But not if you have a tiny woman and a giant dog! The dog lunged and growled at Indy, who tried to scamper away! Poor Indy was really scared by the dog! We zoomed away to a safe part of the store to regroup.

We decided we should just go find Jude since we had been in the store about 15 minutes, which is longer than Jude wanted to be. They were in the dressing room, so we waited outside the dressing room. While we were there, Felix got to practice his greeting behavior with the attendant for the dressing room.

We were there for probably 8–10 minutes, and then we saw the Dane approaching! The owner looked like she was heading right towards us! So we immediately zipped away and went back to the dog toy section.

While we were there, Indy got to pick out a toy and Felix did more work on heeling with me walking. His come definitely needs some work, but his heeling is pretty good.

Eventually we headed back over to the dressing room to check on Jude, but they called us and said they were outside! So Sabrina went to check out, and I headed outside. That way I got to work on hanging out outside a store, which is one of the ME items.

It had started to rain, so we got a little wet heading back to our cars. I was able to successfully load Sabrina’s wheelchair onto the thing on the back of her car for her, which was good because I was worried about her doing it in the wet!

I dropped Jude off, and then we headed home. Hestia and Alice were very happy to see us! And now we are going to rest up a lot!

I only got one picture while we were there, it was taken when Felix was practicing his heeling, and came over to sit right next to Indy. Both dogs are super cute! Indy is a Golden and Felix is a Japanese Chin.

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