Today Haddie and I met my college buddy at a park that is half way between her city and my city. It was a gorgeous Fall day and the park was the perfect setting. We walked. We sat. We walked. We ate lunch. We walked. We sat.
Haddie did great. She allowed me to chat with my friend, and didn't carry-on when she needed my attention for a correction. She just listened. Sometimes more quickly than others, but I didn't feel it was too disruptive on either side - the training side and the people conversation side. It was a great balance.
Haddie was a trooper. There were many dogs on leash wandering through with their owners, and thankfully, all but one left us alone. We were sitting on a park bench under the tree for shade and rest. Haddie was close to my feet just chilling out in a Sit watching passer-bys. It was going well.
Until this man decided that his Boxer (who was gorgeous, but intimidating) "liked" puppies and thought it was important that his Boxer "see" Haddie. My friend, myself, and Haddie all felt differently. Haddie was quick to get behind my legs and tucked herself nicely. The Boxer, and the man, did not get the point at! all! The Boxer did nothing aggressive, he just didn't have good personal space/boundaries. Luckily I caught his drool on my pant leg and Haddie was saved from all slobber and contact. Whew!
My college buddy and I had a common friend, Kim, in college that had a service dog through Guide Dogs of America. My college buddy was great about assisting Kim with driving, shopping, and other areas of help before she received her dog, and after too. After seeing the clueless man with Boxer, my friend was reminded about some of the clueless folks she encountered while hanging out with Kim. She shared her stories, and after experiencing my tiny example, I have a whole new appreciation.
All in all, Haddie and I had a great day hanging in the Fall sunshine at the park with my friend. But sadly, no photos. Kicking myself over that one. It just means that we'll have to do it again soon, JH!