The weather is absolutely beautiful today. Never mind that it's supposed to snow tomorrow night. It's 76 degrees today, and sunny, with a pleasant breeze. I decided to take Isaac to the doggie beach.
First, we met Mike and his mom for lunch. Isaac and I got to the restaurant first, and I decided to sit on a bench outside to wait, since the weather was so nice.
While we were waiting, a mom and her little girl, about two or three years old, I think, came outside. The little girl was rather fussy, but she was excited to see Isaac. Her mom told her she could look at the doggie but not pet him because he was a working dog, not a petting dog. She was really interested in the doggie, though, and I asked her if she'd like to pet him. Her mom asked if it was OK and I said yes. The mom told me that the little girl was very good with dogs and would be gentle. I told her Isaac loves kids.
The little girl came over and petted Isaac on the face, very gently, and he kissed her very gently on the ear, which made her crack up laughing. Mom told me the restaurant was very busy and they'd been waiting a long time and that the little girl was having a hard time being patient. After a few minutes of visiting with Isaac, though, she was ready to go back in.
A few minutes later, Mike and his mom arrived. I was a little worried that we'd have to wait a long time and that Isaac might get restless. He's good in restaurants for about an hour, but sometimes he has a hard time doing a down-stay longer than that. I also usually try to avoid restaurants that are busy, where we have to wait to be seated, so I wasn't sure how he'd do with that.
Well, he did just wonderfully. We did have to wait to be seated, but it wasn't that long a wait. Isaac lay down by my feet and looked around and wagged his tail happily while we waited. None of the other customers tried to pet him or talk to him or anything, so I'm sure that helped. I heard a few of them reading the patches on his vest out loud, "Please don't pet me, I'm working," so that was nice.
Most of the time when I've been out to eat with Isaac, it's been me and one other person. The more people at the table, the less room there is under the table for Isaac to sprawl out under there. But he did really well. I made sure he was giving everyone enough room for their feet and he just lay down and had a nice nap.
After our meal, I decided to stop at the restroom before heading for the dog park. It occurred to me then how difficult it was the first time I ever used a public restroom with my service dog. That's the kind of thing I never thought about before I got a service dog, but the first time I used a public restroom with him was in a Cracker Barrel and the bathroom stalls were really small. He didn't want to go in the stall and I had to lure him in with a treat. When I finally got him in there (it took a while to convince him, even with a treat), there was no room for either of us to move. I discovered it was quite a challenge to pull up my pants and button my jeans and stuff while also holding a leash, especially in such a small space.
The stall was bigger today, which was nice, but Isaac was also happy to go in with me. He did want to peak under the stall to see who was in the stall next to us, but I managed to dissuade him from doing so. We finished up and were on our way.
This was the first time Isaac and I went to the dog park since last fall but he remembered the way. When we got close, he sat up on the backseat and started looking intently out the window. Just before we turned into the parking lot, he started pacing back and forth on the backseat and whining. By the time I was parking the car, he was yelping with excitement.
He remembers the way to the doggie beach, but is surprised every time when we get home from the lake and he learns he has to get a bath. You'd think he'd remember the bath part, too, but apparently not.
He had a fantastic time running around, playing with some other dogs and swimming. Then we came home and he was surprised and disappointed to find out he had to get a bath. And now he's taking a nap.