Saturday, June 7, 2014

GADA Team Training Day Five

Everyone was excited to hear about our first night at home with our dogs. Breakfast was full of chatter and questions. All the dogs were thrilled to be reunited and they all played during our first lecture.
Topper, Danny and Murphy

Ramona had to cover rules for public outings because today was going to be our first official public outing with the dogs. I thought I knew quite a bit about the laws when it comes to service dogs but I was clearly wrong. I had a lot to learn. Service dogs are covered by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and have the right to go anywhere I go. This includes doctors offices, restaurants, hotels, shuttles, taxis, parks, zoos, grocery stores, and the list goes on and on. Services dogs are NOT pets, they are medically necessary to help perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
Annabelle thought Ramona needed help teaching

Businesses are allowed to ask if the animal is a service dog and what tasks it performs.  If the service dog is out of control or poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others then a business has the right to ask you to leave with your service dog.
Rich and Topper

A business that denies you and your service dog access can open themselves up to federal and state penalties and civil litigation. Tennessee law states that a business who denies access to your service dog could face a Class C Misdemeanor resulting in up to 30 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

After our lecture we all practiced the following commands.
Tug it.
Go to bed.
Nose it.
Leave it.
Let's go.
Ready to practice 

Today's lunch was provided by volunteer Deb. She prepared a spinach lasagna, pepperoni lasagna, salad, chocolate cake, and Italian ice cake. During lunch we had our dogs practice a settle under the table while we ate. This was wonderful preparation for our real food outings that will start on Saturday.
Everyone settled for lunch
Good settle Topper

After lunch we had a lecture on public etiquette.  Ramona taught us all the ways that our dogs needed to be an unobtrusive helpmate. Now that we have service dogs, we are all service dog ambassadors.
Always potty your dog before going in a store
Our help team

Walmart was our first public outing. It was very brief, only about 30 minutes, because Ramona did not want to overwhelm us or the dogs. Even though we have all done phenomenal during our training sessions at Goodwill, being in public adds numerous distractions for the dogs.
Shopping for mascara
Mason and Danny
Murphy's favorite aisle 
Topper's team
DeeDee was a huge help

We went in different directions in Walmart. Each team had a volunteer to help with any questions or issues that came up. We all had several people stop us to ask questions about our dog. One team even over heard someone say, everyone is out today with their helping dog. Lol.
Card shopping with Danny
Waiting in line
Rich and Topper cruising the Walmart

It was very exciting to take our dogs out for the first time. They all responded very well to all of our commands. Our first outing was a huge success!!
Annabelle says YAY!!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome first outing! Before too long, y'all will be motoring along everywhere together. :-)