Monday, January 28, 2013

A well trained dog

My son and I ventured to the grocery store for a very short outing yesterday and left Haddie at home with my hubby. We were going to the Coin Star machine to cash in his coins for bills. Upon exiting the car we noticed an older man walking on the sidewalk next to the grocery store with a tall, skinny dog by his side. We have leash laws in our city, but this man was ignoring that part as the dog was politely walking beside him.

We eventually caught up to them and walked behind them. We were both surprised to find that the man did not continue forward, but rather took a left into the store with his dog. 

Curious what was going to transpire next, we slowed our pace to watch. The man, without any verbal cue, motioned with his hand for the dog to lay down on the edge of the lobby carpet. With two fingers pushed together, he pointed at the dog and then pointed at himself, and walked away. 

The dog stayed in his down position. Not moving a muscle on his body, licked his chops a few times, but for the most part even his head held steady. I think everyone in the store passing us thought it was our dog, because the carpet edge stopped where the Coin Star machine began. 

One lady with a puzzled face asked me, "Whose dog is that?" as she slowly walked passed. I found it fascinating, however, that no grocery store employee even batted an eye at the sight of a dog laying on their interior carpet. They kept on moving as if the dog did not even exist. 

We moved slowly in our process as we were so curious when this man would return, and what the dog would do in the process. About five minutes had passed before we finally saw the man in the self-checkout aisle at the opposite side of the front entrance to the store. He had purchased a pastry. That department was in the back corner of the store, also opposite where his dog was put. 

Amazing. The trust. On both sides. 

The man walked toward us, head held high, confident, strong. He was not a burly man, he rather resembled his dog who was a grey hound mix of some sort who was very skinny, built with all legs, course scraggly hair, more gray than black. Yes, I just described both human and canine. 

Without pausing, the man walked up to his dog, gave a signal with his left fingers that pointed to the door, and the dog got up and followed him out. Again, no verbal messages were passed. 

I wanted to run after them - and ask him a bazillion questions. Who was this man? What was this all about? How long did it take to train the dog, and how did he do it? Was there a purpose, an extra motive, did he really want that pastry or was that just something to do while the dog held the down/stay while he was out of sight. 

A well trained dog, no matter the reason, is always a treat to witness. My take-away as a Puppy Raiser? Stay calm, confident, and act like you are ruler of your own little world. 

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