Sunday, January 22, 2012

An outing

 Some of you might know that I am working towards developing Tess into my service dog.  Up until this point I've limited our outings to places and events that are dog friendly and I don't have to "declare" her. 

Recently she's been showing that she's ready for the next step beyond school meetings and family events - I felt she was ready for her first outing.  A club I belong to had it's meeting today.  I explained host of the building (the meeting was upstairs in the business) that I had a in-training service dog and got permission to take her.  Assistance and in-training dogs do not automatically share the same privileges as service dogs, and while I normally wouldn't ask - I thought it prudent since it was her first outing and wanted to make sure everything went well. 

She behaved herself perfectly.  During the 4 hour meeting she slept at my feet, didn't fidget, and showed herself to be ready for this step. 

In some ways this was a difficult first outing - it was a meeting among friends and so questions were asked that I felt obliged to answer.  And of course, they wanted to meet Tess. 

I got so many compliments on her behavior and her looks (she's very striking because of her oddly colored eyes, two toned nose, and her "whiteness" (even her eyelashes are white!).  I'm so proud of my puppy, and yes - I'm proud of myself.  Tess is *my* first dog, and even if that's a grey area - I can honestly state she's the first dog *I've* trained.  I absolutely love this dog and I'm already looking back fondly on the adventure (and education!) of puppyhood with her, even if she is too-smart-for-her-own-good. 

We still have a ways to go, but milestones like this one tell me I'm on the right path!