Seva had a big day today. Vet appointment at 8:30 a.m. I was told to bring her in with a full bladder, and I did.
These things are bound to happen. It was just a matter of time. Really.
When we finished at the vet, I took Seva into some wood chips to “do her business.” She did. I’m sure it was a relief to pee after all that time. Then we headed over to Knollwood Mall to do some indoor training.
Knollwood has a nice hallway without any real stores off it where you find tables, the restrooms, and an exit to a back lot. This is where we went, down the hallway, past the tables, and to a bench. I showed her kibble and we worked on Watch.
In just moments, Seva was distracted beyond distracted. She wouldn’t take a kibble if it was right under her nose, which it was. She gets like this, and typically a change of scenery or trying a new skill will bring her back to me. Not today.
She looked antsy. Then those hind legs started to spread and the tail curved away from the body. “No no no no no no no no!” I jumped up off the bench and ran for the door, Seva in tow. We got outside and I scanned the parking lot–where can we go? Ah ha! A median covered in wood chips covered in snow. We ran across the lot to the median and she wasted no time in dropping a large turd.
I dutifully bagged it and put it in the outdoor can at the mall entrance–because I’m considerate that way–thinking Boy, that was close!
Inside again, I noticed a janitor walking toward a storage room, a frown creasing his face. I looked further down the hallway and saw another janitor standing off to the side holding a long pole, also looking unhappy. Then I saw a chair positioned over a turd. It was nicely formed and about 3″ long. When you bag poo every day–as any dog person will tell you–shape and consistency matter. I don’t think the janitors were fully appreciating this turd.
I took a new baggie out of Seva’s pack. She carries her own poop bags–because she’s considerate that way. And we carried the poop to the outdoor can, then came in to resume training.
With both a healthy pee and poop out of the way, she would surely be able to concentrate on her work. We went deeper into the mall, because really, why would we want to hang around where she’d just done her business? We joined the senior mall walkers, looked at a bright store display, growled at a kiosk that was still draped with a tarp, and all was fine until it wasn’t.
Seva started acting all twitchy again. Forget it, I thought, this is not any way to train. So we went back to the tables where I’d left my coat. I had barely lifted it off the chair when Seva went into a squat!
Out popped a turd–I saw this one–and we ran for the door AGAIN. This time we knew right where to go and she dropped another big pile.
I used my last baggie on this one, so I grabbed a bunch of paper towels from the ladies’ room on our way inside. I picked up the turd and collected my coat, Seva’s leash around my wrist.
As I turned to leave, one of the mall walkers, an older gentlemen, called out, “Wait! I just wanted to tell you that my niece has one of these dogs. One of these exact dogs.”
1. I’m a polite person. “Oh, that’s great.”
“She’s paralyzed from the waist down.”
2. When we’re training in public we are ambassadors for Helping Paws and service dogs the world over. “Oh.” Not so great. “Does she have a Helping Paws dog?”
“It’s just amazing what these dogs can do with some training.”
3. I’m holding a turd in some paper towels, and it’s starting to smell. I discretely move the offensive object behind my back. “Yes, it is amazing.” You have no idea, mister!
Escaping at last, we deposited yet another poop in the outdoor can. And I have never been so glad to end a training session!