Joey had his first experience with a flea market today. The first thing I noticed when we arrived, were the signs saying “NO PETS” . Walking around inside, I learned that dogs that are sitting in baby strollers or handbags must not be pets, because they were everywhere. We always seem to run into people that know all about SEGD or know people with guide dogs, and today was no exception. We met a lady who’s sister was on her 2nd guide dog and another who’s friend tried raising a SEGD puppy. She said her friend just wasn’t physically strong enough to control the dog, and wasn’t emotionally strong enough to handle bringing it back for training. She still wanted a dog, and wanted to help, so she adopted one that didn’t make it thru training, and is also a dedicated puppy hugger.
Then, there were the people we meet the most; the ones wanting to pet Joey and ask all the questions. But today, nobody asked if they could pet him. They just reached out to him without warning. Now Joey has a way of backing up just a little before sitting, and it really helps in this situation. When somebody reaches out to him, I tell him to sit and he backs up just out of their reach, and sits. That gives me a few seconds to allow the petting or explain why they can’t. Joey is nine months old now, so next month is when we will have to stop all petting when he is in his coat. We are starting to break the petting routine now, but still allow it occasionally. There was a little girl there today who obviously needed her nap. She wouldn’t stop crying until I walked up with Joey and asked her if she wanted to pet him. Joey became a therapy dog for a few minutes and loved doing it. I think her mommy and daddy loved it too.
I was surprised by a question I was asked a few times today. People came up and asked “Is he a mean dog?” Duh, see the coat? Yea, guide dogs are all trained killers. Duh, black labs make pit bulls look like baby bunnies.
Joey, I think your size is starting to be intimidating.