|Barked: Mon Mar 20, '06 10:46pm PST |
|Today we went into an across-town grocery store (not the one everybody knows us at) and Tux did very well until the end. He even followed the "focus" command when there was a toddler nearby screetching "doggie!". I was so very proud of him.
So we meet a couple employees through the store and they don't bother us at all, just continue on their way. Then, we pay for our purchases using an automated kiosk/checkout stand, and attempt to go through the door to leave.
In this grocery store, there is a podium at the end of the collection of kiosks, it's where employees are in case you need assistance running the kiosk. Behind it is about a 48" walkway for customers to exit the store, in my opinion very small because if one employee steps back you're kind of squished. Anyway, so we are approaching this tight area, Tux is doing fine. Then this female employee steps back (when we are about two or three feet from that section of walkway) and blocks my path. Even if I didn't have Tux it would have qualified as rude if I didn't use "excuse me." I take one or two more steps and because this is the only way out of the store my exit is blocked, and I'm looking at the side of this employee. (Those one or two steps were for my balance, and my assuming that she would get out of the way). "Is he friendly?" She asks. Oh no, here it comes, I think. He's been doing so well, he hasn't messed up at all, he's been paying attention to me....she's going to pet him and he'll lose his focus. "Yes," I said. "But he's working." At this point I made a subtle attempt to solicit Tux's attention and shove past her out the door, rude as it would have been. I know what's coming. She's gonna pet him. He's gonna lose his focus. Tux attempts to gather his hindquarters beneath him (he dropped into a sit when she blocked our path) when she sticks out her hand. He daintily sniffs then tries to follow my command (to exit) but at that moment, she reaches under his chin and gives him a "home behavior!" (Scratching under the chin.) Of course with this doubled (my command and the home command) he thinks he is at home. He does listen to me when I pull him away but he lost all his focus when she did that. (We then took him to another store and that wasn't right of us to subject him to, especially when he thought he was at home.)
It just irraitated me so much. I guess I didn't say "He's working" loud enough. I can't say he's not friendly because that'll hurt him as a service dog, I chose to not scream "DO NOT PET HIM, HE'S DOING WELL FOR ONCE!" because that would have been rude. (And accustory before the fact.) But the whole fact of her reaching out, soliciting him when I had given him a different command...arrrrrgggg! She stepped into my path to purposefully stop me. He was wearing his vest. He was doing fine. She didn't even ask about his service dog status or anything! All she wanted to do was pet him!
I suppose, though, the ability to read isn't a qualification needed for that grocery store.
Tux and Big Sis
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