Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day 11 - A Ball at the Mall

The Making of a Service Dog Team - Suzan & Logan's two week team training

Things are really coming together now! Today I pushed the cabinet and regular doors closed pretty consistently and got the big door opened quite a few times.

Our field trip today was to the mall. Suzan and I did really, really well. I got the handicapped door button for her, stayed in a down when someone stepped over me, allowed children to pet me and stayed focused and even let a "friendly stranger" take me a few feet away and come back. See photo of "friendly stranger".

We also did the escalators! Now this is something special that not all service dogs are trained to do. But since Lauren is such a good trainer and we knew that Suzan might have to use one with me, we carefully trained for it. I love escalators! I think it's because such a big fuss was made over me when I was learning to do them. Suzan knows that we have to be very careful and we'll take the elevator if we have a choice.

My business cards sure came in handy today! Lots of people were interested in what we doing and I even heard some of them comment on what a good dog I was!


OlRedHair said...

Oh Logan, I am so proud of you! It's the home stretch now. You are a star. I sure wish I could have been the friendly stranger and taken you for a little walk. I would have brought you back, honest!

How did you arrange for the children to pet Logan? Is there a procedure to release her from work mode, so she can interact and play with people?

I'll bet you both are saying TGIF!


service dog lady said...

Wow the escalator - how did you train for that? I heard the worry was getting my nails in the groves and/or not getting off correctly. I have only ridden elevators. Glad your training is going well.

Uncle Bob & Auntie Sheila said...

Way to go Logan!!!!!
Escalators, elevators, what's next the space shuttle.
We just knew you would be one of the greatest Service Goldens ever.
Your Mom & Dad must be so proud and I can tell by your blog you are very happy knowing that you are helping your Mom so much.
We can't wait to meet you at Goldstock.
At the rate your going you should be reciting the Gettysburg Address by then.
Hamish & Sophie send tail wags and high 5 paws to you.

Logan said...

Auntie Nora, are you SURE you would have brought me back?! LOL

Actually I wasn't released from work mode. We told the children that it's usually not OK to pet a working dog but that this was a test for me. I need to stay focused on Suzan even when people "sneak" a pet in.

Some service dog partners allow a "visit" or "say hello" cue when they're at rest but we don't want to go there yet. When you're a new partnership like we are, it's important to establish the bond and working relationship without distractions.

When my vest is off then I can interact with other people. (Now don't you go hiding my vest at Goldstock! I'll have both work time and play time!)


Logan said...

Emma, I'll have to ask my trainer about the escalators. Suzan will be sure to keep my nails and foot fur trimmed!