Fable and I went to the BTS concert in Citi Field NYC last week! It was an absolutely amazing experience and Fable did a wonderful job.
I also decided that i really no longer think of Fable as a service dog in training. It’s not that we have nothing left to work on, but he can reliably task in the most stressful of situations, like stadium concerts and Renfaire and it’s more than protected by the ADA.
I worked Fable without a vest in a very non-dog friendly spot for the first time yesterday. We just had our handsfree leash and head halter. We were in the grocery store and Fable adjusted really quickly and really well. He also walked handsfree next to me while I pushed the cart, something we haven’t done a whole lot of training with. I was very proud of him.
We were in the store for about 30-40 minutes, and we had three notable interactions. One, a random shopper, a middle aged man we passed, pointed at me and said very loudly “that’s a service dog, right?” And when I said yup, he said “that’s what I thought.”
We met an older woman who said “let’s have a look at this dog” while we were standing in line at the cashier. When she first said it, I shrugged and was prepared to ignore her as Fable wasn’t facing her anyways. But when she proceeded to say it a couple more times as if I was supposed to turn my dog around to face her, and when I didn’t she proceeded to leave her cart in line and attempt to walk around us to get into Fable’s face. I told her to stop and ignore, and she did the second time I asked.
And on the way out, we met a kid and his mother who talked about helper dogs. The kid tried to go over to Fable then and his mom stopped him before I had to. I was very grateful for that.
All in all, this is far from our worst public access experience in a grocerystore, let alone overall. This is why I say that while vests and leash wraps and patches are nice to have and may help some public access issues, people are going to do what they want, vest or no vest.
Here’s Fable, getting into the Christmas spirit, and modeling his new OneTigris vest, DannyLuann patches, and his @cricketpupdesigns pull strap and leash.
And if you’re wondering, no all those patches and that professional and serious looking vest does NOT stop people from petting. I caught one middle aged man in the middle of drive-by petting when I turned around from grabbing something off the self, and I had to slip by a kid reaching for Fable because their father said to him “look at the dog!”
Fable did great in both cases; he barely glanced at his drive by petter and I saw the kid coming so I was able to get his attention before that. The man was yelled at and the parents of the kid were firmly told to not let their child touch my dog.