Isaac and I went to the grocery store this morning to stock up on food before it starts to snow later today.
It has occurred to me that I haven't written much lately about trips to various places with Isaac. The reason for that is that no much of interest happens these days. I get the usual questions about whether I am training Isaac for a disabled person, I say no, he's already trained, Isaac does his job, and we go home. Not much new to report. Isaac behaves well, which is wonderful, but after blogging about how nicely he lay on the floor under the table in a restaurant so many times, I kind of get bored writing about it and I imagine it gets a bit boring to read about, too.
But we went grocery shopping this morning and I was just struck by how well he did. And by how well he's done everywhere I've taken him lately.
In the dog food aisle, I had to remind him a couple times not to sniff the big bags of food. I remember when I first got Isaac, the first time I took him down the dog food aisle at the grocery store, I could hardly pull him away from all the food and treats he wanted to sniff. For a long time after that, we avoided the dog food aisle. Now, he takes a couple sniffs, I tell him to leave it, he leaves it.
A man at the store today approached Isaac, reached out to pet him, asking as he was reaching for him, "Is it OK to pet him?" I said, "No. Not when he's working." I didn't hesitate to say no. I used to feel uncomfortable telling people no when they wanted to pet him. Isaac was looking happy at the prospect of being petted but behaved himself. He didn't try to jump on the man and he stayed beside me. He followed me readily when I told him to come.
Near the end of our shopping trip, I accidentally dropped my shopping list on the floor. Without thinking about it, I told Isaac to get it. He was busy watching another shopper in the aisle, but he picked up the paper when I told him to.
It's only been recently that telling Isaac to get something is my first instinct when I drop something. In the past, even when Isaac was with me, my first instinct would be to bend over and get it myself. I had to think about it to have Isaac do those things for me.
I also recall a time in the grocery store when I dropped my wallet and told Isaac to get it and he absolutely would not. We were in line to pay and he was busy watching other customers and completely ignored me. After I told him to get it three or four times, I ended up picking it up myself. I was embarrassed and angry. Today, Isaac happily picked up the list for me. He got an ear rub and an enthusiastic, "Good boy! You are the smartest, best dog ever."