Sunday, May 2, 2010

Permission Granted

Today we were back at our local big-box hardware store - the one that won our undying loyalty by supplying us with friendly people to practice Meet-n-Greets with.

Once again, the friendliest person in the store was the young man by the door (I think his job is to answer questions and deal with returns) for as soon as we walked in, he was drawn to Zachary like dogs to bacon.

Once again I trotted out my "He's studying for his his Canine Good Citizen test, so please don't pet him if he moves."

Zachary was very, very good today. His rump never left the floor! The kid was also very good, for as soon as Zachary so much as twitched a whisker, the kid backed up 6 feet!

After a few minutes of this, and because the young man was such a good listener, and because Zachary had been a rock (whiskers excepted), I said "OK" - and let Zachary have a few free moments. The young man ruffled Zachary's ears, and did some gentle "rough-housing" pets and Zachary wiggled his rump off.

All too soon, a customer showed up and that was that.

Zachary and I wandered through the store and I was very impressed. He was calm for visual/audio distractions (frequent happenings a big-box hardware store), was improved with his loose leash walking, was great as people walking past, and was great when little kids begged from strollers for their moms to push them closer to the doggie.

He practiced lying quietly while I glanced at the garden books as shopping carts whizzed past, and got an A+.

Just before we left, I went back to the front and once again took up position to see if I could lure incoming customers to pet him. Once again, the friendly young man was right there. No need to remind him - he stayed 6 feet away while I told Zachary to sit.

And then came the moment of truth - would Zachary stay seated, or remember his boisterous parting with the young man and try to pick up where he left off?

Any guesses?

Zachary was a rock. Even the whiskers were steady! And after a few pets he was rewarded with an "OK" to go and get a "proper" Good-bye.

I just love my big-box hardware store!

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