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Archive | Assistance Dogs

Evening out

Tonight we went out to eat.

As my daughter took our tray, a few fries fell right on Journey’s paws. He turned his head. He drooled just a tiny bit, but he did not touch the fries.

And the entire McDonalds staff came out, greeted, asked to pet (I said yes since they were nice) and even though they were calling him by name from the counter, my good boy didn’t so much as shift position.

They offered him a plain burger and I thanked them and said he could take it to go but he couldn’t eat it in the restaurant.

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A Request To Parents

Parents… please teach your children that it’s rude to inquire into people’s private medical history. Twice today I had children, right in front of their parents, interrogate both me and my daughter, regarding my medical issues. The first one, in the supermarket, actually asked me if the DO NOT TOUCH patches on J’s harness *really* mean they can’t touch him. No of course not, they are on there for gits and shiggles. Then the boy looked me straight in the eye and said ‘But you can see’. Yes, yes I can. Most of the time. ‘So what’s wrong with you then?’ By this point I am glaring at the mother who *finally* takes the hint and tells her kid to mind his business.

Then this afternoon as I’m crossing the plaza to go home from the hardware store, some children come rushing up. Journey is distracted so I had him sit to refocus. The kids read the patches, then ask if he bites. No, of course not. They reach out to pet him. I give J a hand signal to circle behind me out of reach. They continue, repeatedly, to chase after him, around me in a circle. Finally I said please don’t pet him, he’s working. ‘Doing what?’ they ask. I reply ‘trying to keep me upright, for starters’ and get J refocused and walk away. They then badger my daughter until she was in tears demanding to know why I have that dog and what, specifically, he does for me, because ‘he’s an assistance dog and he helps my mom with her medical problems’ was not enough.

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A Fine Summer Day…

Today Journey had loads of fun, both working and off duty. Assistance dogs don’t only work helping their humans; they also get time off to enjoy being dogs.

This morning we had our last day of team class before summer break. We’ll miss our friends! After class, we headed back home and spotted several dogs taking a dip in the fountain on the road to the beach. Normally, this isn’t allowed but everyone was having so much fun, we decided to make a pit stop and join them. Journey’s packs came off and away he went!

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After some refreshing laps in the fountain, we decided to walk down to the park for a bit to dry off. Journey got some tummy rubs – his favorite!

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And made some new friends. This is Dalí (like the painter) and Lola.

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They all played for an hour or so while I chatted with their owners. For some reason, my social anxiety does not extend to dog people, at least not after a few minutes to find my bearings. We now have a standing Saturday play date!

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Journey ran, jumped, and played while Dalí decided he was the fun police and would fuss at Journey every time he jumped!

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12 came back with some treats and Journey thought they smelled yummy and begged for some.

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Then sadly, our play date had to come to an end. We headed up the street to a lovely Italian restaurant, Da Bruno San Pedro, for lunch.

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Almost immediately, we were swarmed with people. People asking about his breed, wanting to take pictures, wanting to pat him… most of the folks respected that he was working and didn’t pat him but we decided today to allow pictures, so there will probably be some floating around the internet! Journey enjoyed the attention, since usually it’s Karma everyone obsesses over.

They were awesome to us in the restaurant. They seated us where we wanted, and enough out of the sun for Journey, and even brought him a bowl of water!

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Journey was fantastic – went under my chair and stayed there the entire meal, didn’t mind folks walking by, taking pics, politely ignored them when they stopped and looked, didn’t budge when the waiters came by with our meal, cleared our table, brought the check. And our nemesis is ‘under’ so this is a huge achievement and I’m really proud.

We felt less like a disabled handler and her canine assistant today – today, we felt like superstars.

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