Let me start by saying that this post is dedicated to bragging about my good girl. I am so so so amazed by her and I am a proud puppy raiser!
Yesterday (Sunday) my dad came over and asked me if I wanted to run into town and do some shopping. After thinking it over, I thought what a good adventure it would be to take Helaine with. I brought her crate just in case she couldn’t handle it, and I was fully prepared to sit in the car with her if needed. She has been battling a bit of tummy issues off and on for the last week, and I know it’s directly related to how much food she’s eating. She’s one of those puppies who, when she eats too much, gets an upset stomach that leads to sleepless nights of the gross kind. Need I explain more?
Our first stop was Walmart. Now, if you think I’m crazy for taking a 10 week old puppy to Walmart with me on a Sunday afternoon, you’re not the only one. It was so busy! I had Helaine walk with me through the parking lot, to the front doors and when my dad grabbed a cart, Helaine was initially startled. It was a strange noise she hadn’t yet heard! When I asked him to pull another cart out so I can comfort her through it, he did so with no questions asked. My dad is a great guy. He’s always been supportive of my love for puppy raising, and when we’re out in public not only does he do things to help my dogs, but he’s the first one to talk about what he or she is going to do some day. He’s also the spoiler…my dogs always know who the push over is in the family.
I began with carrying Helaine around the store. I know her baby bladder isn’t used to holding it yet, and I wasn’t about to take chances in the chaos that is Walmart. But, when I realized we weren’t going to be there much longer, I put her down and let her walk beside me. She was incredible. She was attentive, she kept pace with me and she was so brave! I didn’t have to convince her to do anything or go anywhere. She was just spot on. And she got a ton of attention, which she absolutely loved. I could not, and still cannot believe how well she did! She completely blew my mind.
Our next stop was Safeway and this trip was going to be a lot longer of a stop. I made sure to hurry her after exiting Walmart, and again before entering Safeway. The two stores are about 5 minutes away from each other, but I know that so much busy-ness can overstimulate a small puppy. After hurrying, we walked straight up to the doors and right through them. I am so surprised that the automated doors don’t bother her at all. Those were always the things that scared my puppies in the past. She was confident, she had no worries. We walked around the produce isle, weaving around the tables full of fruits and veggies. We went to the meat department where she got to smell things she had never smelled before! We practiced sitting, and when I stopped to chat with my BFF’s mom, she chose to lay down politely and just watch people walk by instead of all the other things a little distractable, short attention span puppy could have done. I was just so proud. When we got to the end of our trip, I decided that instead of waiting in the long lines to check out, we would head out and wait for my dad outside. That plan was foiled as we were bombarded by a flock of Girl Scouts. But hey, they didn’t ask me to buy cookies 😉 It was really fun working on calm greetings and talking about CCI and all the fun stuff we do together. I know I’ve said this before, but my favorite part of puppy raising is the advocacy I get to be a part of. I couldn’t ask for a better volunteer job!
Overall, the day was a success! I am so so proud of my girl. I couldn’t have asked for more from her. She was calm, patient and so confident! She listened to what I asked of her (which really was just “Let’s go” “Sit” and “Hurry”) but that is still impressive for such a little girl. Her first official outing ended on a great note and I look forward to all the adventures we have in store. If this is any indication of how future outings will be, I have no doubts that she will make a perfect service dog!