Last Monday we missed our basic obedience class. Yes, I felt slightly guilty, but I had my reasons.
It was a federal holiday, we could plan a family dinner AND Boo had already had sufficient training that day. Odd training. Not your usual kind at all.
You see, we are trying to refurbish our bathroom and we had a lot of places to visit. Why not take the dogs? Would the stores allow the dogs? I figured I’d give it a shot.
After all, a well-behaved dog in a tile, home remodeling or construction store couldn’t possibly do damage. Or could he? The result was: success! Both the Annapolis stores and my dogs came through for me.
First we had to pick out tiles and I have to thank In Home Stone and Tile off of Chinquapin Road for allowing Boo and Mayday into the store.
At first the dogs were very afraid, especially my dobe, who is afraid of slippery floors and had to navigate the different tile floors on display. Each time she thought she was used to one texture, she would have to acclimate to a new one.
Boo, the Aussie, in the meantime, was devastated that he had to walk by scary shoppers of all sizes. But here is what worked: Rather than trying to soothe him and show pity, I firmly demanded he stay in a heel position, sit at my side when I stopped to look at a display and ultimately lie down at my side when it came time to make choices.
He never was completely at ease, but he did not do anything out-of-control either. We’ll just have to visit again!
Next we ventured to the off of Forest Drive. I had heard that some do not allow dogs, and I am not sure if they have a policy, but we were told it would be OK.
I am very grateful, because I was on a roll and did not feel like stopping with the shopping/training adventure. We browsed through the cabinet section, calmly (well, pretending to be calm) gazing at the different styles, picking up some catalogues and even trying to discuss the pros and cons of different colors and wood.
OK, so the conversations were short and interrupted with frequent “no, nos” or “heel!” Still, we left quite proud, while our pups left feeling mostly relieved for having survived various echoing sounds of machinery and voices.
I now can’t wait for Spring. I am looking forward to going back to Home Depot and some other gardening stores that I know will welcome my fearful yet completely docile dogs.
We have so much shopping and training to do!