Stepped up Sasha’s public access training last night and took a trip into our local, fairly large, supermarket 🙂
Sasha really is bloody amazing. When we went through the automatic doors and into the shop itself, she had a look about and was a bit “woah where are we?!” – there were so many new things that she had to adjust to almost instantly!
Within seconds she was heeling, and as ever her focus was totally on me. When I stopped she sat, stayed and stared at me. Great!!
To say that I was extremely anxious, it didn’t seem like she felt that at all, and focusing on her was immensely helpful. I haven’t been inside a supermarket in so long, so it was a huge accomplishment for both of us XD
We didn’t have any access issues, with anybody coming up and saying we couldn’t bring a dog in here. We were using Sasha’s SERVICE DOG lead, two lead sleeves (! DOG IN TRAINING and KEEP YOUR DISTANCE) and her harness does have some small patches on it (Service Dog and IGNORE ME)…even so I was surprised we weren’t bothered.
When we went into the entrance way right at the very beginning, a staff member did come up and stand right next to us (about 1ft away from me) and just stare at Sasha. I completely ignored him, Sasha ignored him, but the guy hung about for about 20 seconds, obviously wanting to interact with Sasha, until my partner just said “Can you ignore her please she’s working.”
In the store we had some staff members watching Sasha, but literally nobody else came over, and I managed to calm down quite a bit as we walked about.
We walked through some aisles and grabbed some sliced chicken because we hadn’t had any more in at home. Sasha didn’t sniff anything at all, but EVEN IN THE MEAT AISLE she just sat and looked at me 😀
There were also a few other people shopping, but nobody tried to interact with us and Sasha ignored them. My partner went to pay up and me and Sasha went to wait outside, where I got her all riled up and told her how amazing she was ^__^
On the way back we did unfortunately bump into a well-meaning man.
Sasha is still iffy with people in the dark, men that are standing still especially, and this guy had been standing still.
Anyway, we hung about and were talking, and if he’d done better with Sasha it would have been a GREAT learning experience for her…but every time she would go sniff and explore him, he would bellow “HELLO! GETTING BRAVER ARE WE!” and then try mess with her face (seriously, why does everyone try mess with a bloody dog’s face?!) and would make that bloody awful noise people instinctively make to dogs – really high pitched and squeaky? So she would get uncertain again and come back to my side and sit by me for treats…which is obviously a great reaction when concerned, but I was so annoyed with the man.
Oh and he dispensed some wonderful advice – he asked what treats we were using, so I said kibble for easy stuff, cat treats for medium distractions and chicken for when she had to work hard or there were lots of distractions.
He then said “Do you know what treat’s the best of all for a dog? Praise and love. They like it much more than treats.”
Wow, really? HAHAHA, try telling Kasper that. Jesus XD
Why do humans have this idea that training dogs with treats is bad, and that they should work for praise alone?!?! Sure you might get the odd rarity of a dog that *does* enjoy praise more than treats, but it’s very very rare. Like, would you work for your boss for praise alone? No, you want the treats right, you want to be paid!
We were then given a lovely tale about how when his girlfriend asks their dogs to do something, they do it for the treats. But when he asks them to do something, they do it because they know they have to.
Ugh ugh ugh, please stop talking to me and leave my dog alone!!
We have a planned response next time an idiot says something like this – in fact we have two!
The first is the simple: “Sorry we can’t talk now, my partner’s had quite a few seizures and we can’t have Sasha distracted”, and the second (if they decide to give us some lovely training advice) is “Our trainer, who works with assistance dogs, has told us to train this way and so that’s what we’ll be doing, thanks.”
Today Sasha had her first bus ride, just a few minutes from our village to the next.
We had a woman stood staring right at Sasha the five minutes we were at the stop waiting, despite us moving to a bench 8ft away *sigh* My partner body blocked me and Sash in the end, he stood right in front of her line of vision, and we actually heard her tut XD
We then went on a big, lovely walk, and Sashie-bum experienced icy puddles for the first time!
She loved crashing through them, splashing everywhere and doing her I’m-too-big-to-be-quick zoomies hahahaha!
I do have video footage which will be uploaded soon 😉
I tell you what though, I can’t wait until Sasha is older and we don’t have to stick to this bloody 5 minutes of walking per 1 month of age rule…I feel so sorry for my partner having to carry this giant 10kg lump so much!!!
And finally, Sasha had her first bath today!
Haha she was awesome! She loved the bubbles and when I was sponging her down all she wanted was to lick the sponge bwahaha. She looked hilarious wet, but now she’s all dry and clean and she smells lovely ^__^
Tonight we have another trip to the supermarket planned. Can’t slack on that training!
I’ve had a couple of days of absence / partial seizures, which sucks as I’d been quite a few days seizure free…in fact I haven’t had a big seizure, where I collapse and lose consciousness, in a week now 😀