Last week, Isaac and I saw another service dog shopping with a woman at our local grocery store. It surprised me, because we never see other service dogs. This is the fourth time in the two plus years I've had Isaac that we've run into another service dog somewhere.
Isaac was surprised and fascinated. He stared. Rudely.
Let me recap a bit.
The first time we ever saw another service dog was at the library. Isaac barked. Excessively. Like he was going to eat that dog up. I quickly left the library, embarrassed and frustrated and full of guilt, because I must be a bad service dog owner if my dog was behaving that way.
The second time was at my favorite thrift store. Isaac barked. Just once. I quickly let him away. I bought the items in my cart and left, afraid to try to continue shopping because he might see the dog again and bark more.
The third time was at another grocery store. Isaac stared. He did not bark. I quickly made a detour down the pet supply aisle and snagged a bag of dog treats so I could reward Isaac frequently for paying attention to me and not barking at the other dog.
And now this is the fourth time. Isaac stared. He kept his eyes peeled for the dog the rest of the time we were shopping. He was somewhat distracted. I think that is to be expected, though, since he so rarely sees other dogs in stores.
But he behaved. The distraction didn't bother me. I understand it and he wasn't behaving badly.
I did not have to buy an emergency bag of dog treats. He didn't bark. He didn't embarrass me.
I am happy.
I wish we had the opportunity to train around other service dog teams, though. That would be good. Maybe I will see if I can set up a meet and greet or something.