Sunday, June 8, 2014

GADA Team Training Day Six

Our second outing was on Saturday at Hamilton Place Mall. We all met outside of Barnes and Noble. There are a couple patches of grass where we could potty the dogs before going in. As you can imagine, this is always a very important process before going in any place of business.

Murphy and I were the first team through the doors of Barnes and Noble. The first and second person we saw had questions for me about Murphy. One lady wanted to know what kind of dog he was and the second gentleman asked if the dogs had trained at Unum. Ramona warned us in the classroom that is would be very common. People are generally very curious about service animals.

Once out in the mall, we were stopped by a police officer. Ramona was afraid he might give us access issues (seeing as how there were three of us parading in with dogs) but it was the exact opposite. He wanted to be better educated about the laws surrounding service dogs.  Goodwill has cards we can pass out in situations like this.  I'm telling you, Tim and Ramona have thought of everything for us!!

We went straight through the oasis and around to Sear's. Everything was going great. The dogs were really focused on us (of course the dog treats helped with that).

It was on toward the Dillard's end of the mall. As Murphy and I were passing Charming Charles, the noise from the escalators startled him. He them glanced back and spotted Annabelle in the hot dog truck with a face on it. Murphy started pulling away from my wheelchair, his tail tucked in and his ears were drooping.

I didn't know what to do. Poor the Murphy was scared. Ramona came right over and instructed me to get Murphy's attention back on me. We then needed to make several more laps around this area so Murphy could be okay with everything. The worst thing to do would be to flea the area because it could cause an even worse reaction the next time I take him to the mall. Ramona stood at the escalator and clapped and cheered as Murphy came by. This allowed him to process that everything was okay and nothing was going to hurt him.

Next it was time to try the elevators. Elevator safety is very important. Many service dogs have died as a result of elevator accidents. The dog should always be attached to you and should be placed in the back if the elevator away from the doors.  Murphy and I were going to go last so he could have a chance to fully recover from his scare.  Once it was our turn, Murphy was ready to go.  He was great at helping me pick out a Father's Day card for my dad at Hallmark. And while we were in New York and Co, Murphy found the perfect new dress for me.

For lunch, we all dined together in the oasis. Needless to say with our three dogs we got lots of looks. Danny, Murphy and Topper were all perfect angels settled underneath the tables as we enjoyed our lunch. It was another very successful day.

We were all worn out from our day at the mall.  I felt like I needed twelve pairs of eyes and a few extra hands.  I am sure with time it will be much easier.  :-)

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