Today Sabrina came up to Rock Hill and we did a training outing together!
We started out at Ollie’s, which is a local discount store. Even though my second service dog was named Ollie, I have only been in the store once before! The store wasn’t very crowded, but the aisles were narrow and there was a lot of trash and debris on the floor.
Felix did a very good job! We got to work a lot on leave-its and on “through” which is what I say when I want Felix to go through a narrow area before I go through.
Here is a video of Felix using the through command so that we could squeeze past an empty shopping cart left in the middle of one of the wider aisles. For this video, he didn’t do the best job of coming back to heel after doing the through command, but it was hard to find places in the store that had enough room for Sabrina to record us with her wheelchair and Indy with her! So this is an OK representation of Felix doing “through”. He did get better at it by the end of the store since we had to practice it so much!
One thing I did notice about Felix in Ollie’s is that he was walking quite slowly. I don’t know how to speed him up! He just wanted to go at his own pace today. He was heeling really well, just doing it all at a slower than usual pace. It’s probably because it was his first time in this store. He hasn’t really been in a store like this before with such narrow aisles and stuff all over the floor and everything.
Here is a video Sabrina took of us coming up an aisle of beef jerky! Felix did such a good job of not being interested in the jerky!
Looking at the video, I do need to work on getting him to heel closer. I think the problem is that if he’s heeling close enough to my wheelchair, then we can’t see each other. In order for him to see me (and me to see him!), he has to be further out. So we will have to brainstorm on that problem.
We spent about an hour in Ollie’s, and I used up most of a stick of string cheese in our training. We got so so many compliments on our dogs’ behavior in the store. People were really amazed at how well Felix was doing even though he’s just a year old.
I did get a picture of Felix and Indy lying down at checkout! Felix is wearing blue PJs with forest animals on them underneath his Disney service dog harness because it was really cold out today!
After Ollie’s, we headed to Chicken Salad Chick, a restaurant that serves chicken salad! Both the van accessible spaces were taken, so I had to park taking up two spots. Sabrina parked in one spot and just hoped that no one would park next to her and block her ramp!
We decided to get out of our wheelchairs and sit in a booth for lunch so that the dogs would have some protection from people walking by. So we put our wheelchairs at the end of the booth and slid ourselves in. Indy got the whole of the area under the booth table to stretch out, and Felix took a little strip near the edge of the end of the table.
He did SUCH a good job!!! We haven’t done very many indoor restaurants with him, so I was unsure how he’d do, but he was a champ. He picked his spot and settled in and didn’t move while we ate (me taking my mask down for each bite). I got pictures of Indy and Felix at the start of the meal, and a video at the end of the meal, and you can see that he didn’t move! I think he felt really safe being blocked off by the two wheelchairs.
After we were done eating, we hung out for a while chatting, and Felix did start to get bored and wanted to move around. Since I don’t feed treats in a restaurant, management was my only option for making sure he behaved appropriately. So I put him on my wheelchair seat where he promptly fell asleep! I did get a picture of that, too!
When we were done chatting, we headed out to our cars and Sabrina was lucky and no one parked next to her! It was so fun to hang out and train! I think we’re going to try to do it once a week for the next couple of months instead of taking a dog training class together!