Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Public Access Bootcamp: a play-by-play look!

Normally when Freddie and I are out, just the two of us, it's difficult for me to capture certain things on camera ... because, well, I'm supposed to have all my attention on Freddie and the challenges of our environment. Today, however, Paul took the camera and was able to document our adventures out in the neighbourhood ...

Freddie and I generally the take the stairs in our building to go up, but going down to street level is an opportunity to work on elevator manners.

The toughest situation is when the elevator door opens to reveal another dog. It doesn't happen often, but, challenging as it is, I wish it would happen more, so that Freddie could get more practice staying calm.

No other dogs this time:  :-) and :-(

Freddie and I are heading up Arbutus Street here. 
Good heel position, Freddie!
Poor Freddie — yet another trip to the bank. Relatively boring smells, not much in the way of interesting activity ... but he was a very good boy nevertheless.

Re. Freddie's service dog jacket ... I tend only to use it when we're in places where dogs aren't generally allowed (though Vancity is dog-friendly). It isn't necessary for his scent work that strangers know he's a service dog ... and I find he receives more disruptive attention when he's wearing the jacket than when he isn't. Ironically, more people try to pet him when his jacket is on, even though one reason for the jacket is to prevent people from treating him like a pet. Go figure.
This guy and his equipment were very interesting to Freddie. It took three passes before my "Leave it" had the desired effect.

"Dognoring" exercise #1: large dog, friendly-looking, but across the street and not paying much attention to Freddie

Freddie scored a B on this one.
Dognoring exercise #2: energetic, fast-moving dog on the same side of the street

Here's Freddie watching the approach.
Definitely interested, but still calm as the runner and his dog pass us. Yay, Freddie! B+!

(A+ to the photo-man for capturing the cute little tongue)
Dognoring exercise #3: Uh oh ... here comes trouble. Large, happy dog, same side of the street ... so interested in Freddie that he (the other dog) starts lungeing and rearing on his hind legs. Not the kind of temptation Freddie is currently equipped to deal with very effectively.

Big fat F!
His expression and my position in the photo below might suggest I'm trying to restrain him, but in fact I'm praising him for finally managing to settle down.

Off we go again!

Outside our old Shoppers Drugmart, getting into "jacket mode."

Not only is the entranceway to this store grate-free (more anon); I find the service a lot more efficient than the Kits store ... plus they know me and Freddie here and are ├╝ber-friendly.
Heeling through Cosmetics

Down the skincare aisle ...

Good leave-it, Freddie!
Into a down-stay at the prescription counter

Holding the down-stay while Pharmacist Ali gets our stuff
Ali and Richard (featured in this post) are big Freddie fans. :) 

Very challenging Leave-it aisle coming up ... candies and stuffed animals!

The first time we tried this aisle, months ago, Freddie helped himself to a stuffie, but today he was perfect!
Waiting and focusing before venturing back out into the street ...

(Gawd, Heather, could you look like more of a schlump?! Good thing your dog is a sharp dresser.)

Here we are at our next destination, Future Shop, where there are metal grates on the floor in front of the escalator (see this post for more on Freddie's grate-o-phobia) and — bonus! — an out-of-service escalator.

Freddie hasn't conquered moving escalators yet — in part, I suspect, because the steps are grated — so this stationary one was a very good starting place.

In this photo I'm getting out the heavy artillery: pieces of turkey wiener.
Aaannnnd ..... YES! The grate has been traversed, and we have contact with the escalator steps!
This first ascent was a little awkward looking but took very little coaxing.

No request for turkey until we got to the top!

Happy tail!

Still happy going back down ...

Good boy, Freddie! Good jacket work!

Just a boring old plastic wrapper blowing across the sidewalk ...
You can ignore that — right, Freddie?


And that, dear readers, was Freddie's day of Public Access Bootcamp!
Thanks for coming along, and thanks to our man Flash for the photos!


  1. katherine headrick30 January 2014 at 13:57

    What a darling, wonderful dog!!!! (and inspiring for me to keep going with training Dusty.

    1. Dusty, too, is a DWD ... and a model of maturity for her cousin, despite her younger age!


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