Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Farm Store Visit

We still needed the fence I didn't get to buy yesterday, and I'd promised Laev an outing after disappointing her yesterday, so off we went. Laev's welcome in the farm store and I take care to keep her polite and no trouble; not everyone likes dogs and it's a privilege I don't want to lose.

Well, it's been a while since we've been in a store, and Laev told on my slacking. She was not unmannerly, but she wasn't terribly focused, either. Okay, I know there's good stuff to distract her -- spilled food, lots of friendly people, animal smells -- but usually she'll snort around and then focus up when I ask. Today I had to practically beg for a short stretch of heeling in the side yard. (Okay, I didn't beg. I didn't bribe. But I did verbally nag a bit 'til she gave me eye contact so we could start.)

I did have treats on me and reinforced a correct heel, but I would have been happier if I could have gotten it more quickly!

I left the employee to load our fence rolls (60" 2x4" woven no-climb horse fence -- darn Laev and her lithe self) and went back inside with Laev. I picked up a 12# bag of dog biscuits and heeled Laev to the register, where she was asked to down while I waited and checked out. She was rewarded with one of the biscuits. :-) We went outside to find that the rolls wouldn't fit in the vehicle with Laev's crate in the back.

Well, Laev has to ride in a crate; it's one of my rules. And I couldn't exactly leave the crate behind, anyway.

I'd brought the behemoth van for maximum room. So I put Laev in a sit in the next parking space. She's better at holding a down for a period of time, but I wasn't going to ask her to lie in a parking lot. I pulled the crate from the back, reminding Laev, "Good girl, sit," and wedged it into the paired rear captain's chairs. It could shift from laterally, facing the side door, but it couldn't slide off or flip if we had an accident. I released Laev and directed her into the crate, which confused her at first ("That's not right! My crate's always back there, and I'm not allowed on the seats!") but then she hopped right in. She got another dog biscuit for waiting so patiently and then kenneling as asked, I got my fence rolls, and she got a few nice comments at the store.

Oh, and one of the comments was, "That's a really nice hound." /grin and sigh/ We'll take it. Most people won't recognize her, and that's okay. :-)

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