Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Someone Will Be Getting Some Remedial Training on "Drop It"

Isaac was a real butt at the dog park today. He embarrassed me. There were a couple other dogs, including his friend Josie, playing fetch at the lake. They were nice enough to share their balls with Isaac. Only Isaac would fetch the ball and then refuse to give it to a person to throw it again. He wanted to play tug with the ball, which does not work very well. He knows the commands "give" and "drop it" and simply refused. Usually if I refuse to play tug when he does this, he quickly loses interest or his attention is caught by something else and he drops the toy. But not today. He kept bumping the ball against my legs and hips, trying to get my attention.

As if that was not bad enough, one of the dogs had this fabric toy that floats that you can fetch and Isaac talked his friend Quinn into playing tug with that. Well, you can guess what happened. It started to rip. Quinn's dad told him to drop it and he did. But not my dog. Instead, he kept shaking it in Quinn's face, trying to get him to tug some more. And then he put the toy on the ground, stood on it, and pulled on one end with his teeth, ripping it good.

I apologized and asked the owner of the toy if I could replace it for him. He said that was OK but I don't feel OK about it. I came home and found it on Amazon and ordered one, along with some balls to take to the lake with us. The toy Isaac ripped belongs to a black lab named Iris and we see her at the dog park almost every morning, so we will give her the toy when we see her again.

Things like this are why I do not tell most people at the dog park that my dog is a service dog.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Minor Access Dispute Today

Had a minor access dispute today when I went to Rite Aid for a flu shot. The pharmacist tried to tell me I could not take Isaac in the little consultation room where they usually give the flu shots. She asked if I could leave him (unattended!) out by the pharmacy counter. Um, no! Then she said she would come out front and give me my shot there. Now, I don't feel like I need a lot of privacy to get a flu shot, but you can't insist I get mine out front if every one else (you know, the people that are not disabled) get to have theirs in private in the consultation room. So I informed her that was not going to work either and that Isaac would join me in the consultation room for my shot. 

I am not sure why she did not want him in the consultation room. I think she may have been afraid of dogs, but she didn't say that. She did, however, tell me she didn't know "what kind of dog" he was and that sometimes the have people come through the drive up window with dogs in their cars and the dogs are barking. I said "Well, the dogs are pets and they are in their cars. They aren't allowed in the store. My dog is allowed in because he is a service dog." She seemed like she did not understand the difference. But if she'd said she was afraid of him, I might have considered other options. But she didn't say she was afraid and I'm not sure if that was the issue. She never did really explain.

I went home and called the corporate office to tell them she needs some training with regard to the ADA. I did get my shot, she didn't deny me service, but it was still inappropriate.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Three Old Men and a Dog

Isaac and I are at McDonald's and three old men (think country-farmer-type old men) are having a discussion about service dogs.

Old Man #1: She's got that dog really well trained.

Old Man #2: It's got a thing on its side that says Please Don't Pet Me, I'm Working. It's a service dog.

Old Man #3: I bet she gets a lot of unwanted pets.

Old Man #2: Probably. But you ain't supposed to pet them.

Old Man #1: My dog wouldn't lay down like that.

Old Man #2: Your dog ain't a service dog.

Old Man #1: Good thing.

Old Man #3: I bet everybody wants to pet that dog.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rough Day at the Dog Park

Isaac had a rough day today at the dog park.

First, he got into an argument with his buddy Clyde. They normally get along well, and Clyde was in a great mood when he arrived at the dog park this morning. Clyde's owner was sitting on a stump in the sun while Clyde was strolling around sniffing things, so Isaac decided it was a good time to go get some loving from Clyde's owner. Isaac ended up practically in the guy's lap, kissing him, which is not unusual for Isaac. However, Clyde took exception to that and gave Isaac quite a stern talking to about it. Isaac looked rather intimidated, but they later made up.

Then this guy came with two dogs I'd never seen before. Isaac expressed an interest in humping one of the dogs and the dog did not wish to be humped. Isaac backs off as soon as a dog tells him to, but this dog went after Isaac ever after Isaac had backed off. The owner had to grab the dog and pull him off Isaac. Isaac was not hurt at all, just had some slobber on his face from the dog, but he was pretty shaken up.

The owner then took his two dogs down to the lake - where his dog promptly attacked another dog! I don't know what is wrong with some people. If your dog is aggressive, he should not be at the dog park!

Isaac is feeling better now. He had half a hot dog in his Kong.

Friday, August 12, 2016

93 Degrees

Today on my way into the food pantry, I saw someone had left a dog in their car. It was 93 degree here today, much too hot for a dog to be in the car. I went inside and asked, loudly, whose dog it was and no one answered. I announced, loudly, that it was too hot for a dog to be in the car and that the owner needed to take care of their dog or I would need to call the police. No one stepped forward, although several people agreed with me that it was too hot.

I went back outside so I could see the license plate and got out my phone to call the police. Before I could dial, a man came out and headed toward the car. I asked if it was his car, he said yes, and I told him it was too hot to leave his dog in the car. He was mad and grumbled at me, but he got in his car and drove away.

Later, a volunteer with the food pantry said she had figured out who the owner of the dog was and that she told him he had to take his dog home. She told him that he could come back without his dog and they would be happy to serve him. I guess he didn't want to take the dog home and she told him that not only would they not serve him while his dog was out in the car, but that if he didn't take his dog home, she would be calling the police. That's when he left.

Three other volunteers thanked me for speaking up when I saw the dog in the car.

It was so hot.  In addition to the heat, the humidity was high.  Isaac and I had to wait about five minutes for the friend that goes with me to the food pantry to get finished, and I had the car doors open, provided him with a bowl of water, and was cooling him down with a spray bottle of water.  I would not leave a dog in a car for five minutes in this weather.  And it took about 45 minutes to get through the food pantry today.  I think that guy's dog would have been dead by then.

Friday, August 5, 2016

All in a Day's Work

So today I was at Kroger and my favorite brand of almond butter was on sale but there was none on the shelf. So I found a manager, and it so happened the manager of the store was walking around with the district manager, and they ended up giving me a larger jar for the sale price of the small jar. So I got a 16.99 jar of almond butter for 5.99.

But while I had them both there, I brought up something I'd wanted to talk to the manager about anyway, which is customers leaving their dogs in cars when it's hot out. Obviously it's not their fault if customers are stupid, but yesterday I called the cops for the third time this summer about dogs in cars in the Kroger parking lot. I asked them what employees were supposed to do if they saw dogs in cars, like when they are out collecting carts, and asked if employees knew what they are supposed to do.
Both managers were really receptive and immediately said "We can educate employees!" So they are supposed to be training employees to watch for dogs in cars and to notify a manager if they see them. Then the manager will attempt to locate the owner and if necessary, call the police to take care of the situation.

So I was really happy with all of that. As I was talking with them, Isaac was sitting really nicely, looking pretty, being quite and well-behaved. And then... all of a sudden, I smelled something awful. And remembered. I gave Isaac rawhide last night.

I apologized for my dog's awful gas. They both graciously said "Oh, it's fine, it doesn't matter, it's not so bad." They lied. It was bad. Real bad.