After the training field trip, I went to Belmont Park to meet up with someone close to my age named Savannah, who has Ehlers-Danlos and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndome like me. She is also on the waiting list for a service dog with a different organization. I had a lot of fun chatting with her. My mom got to talk to her mom as well. Dyson behaved nicely. There were pigeons, other dogs, food, and loud noises, but he stayed focused on me, occasionally staring up at me to check in even when I didn’t ask him to.
After Savannah had to leave, mom, Dyson, and I went into a beach shop. I practiced having him get down on the floor every time I stopped to look at something on the shelves or clothes racks. I saw a pair of comfy looking shorts and decided to try them on because I’ve grown out of most of mine. This gave me an opportunity to work with Dyson in a new situation: the changing room. It went smoothly.
In the shop, a little girl had a dog stuffed animal and walked close to Dyson. She reached out her hand acting as if she was about to give it to him. Dyson stayed in his spot quietly and didn’t get up to take it from her. If he was on a break, he would’ve taken it immediately, but he knew he was working. This was the first iffy scenario I’ve gotten into in public, so I’m glad it went well.
We also went to the Mission Bay beach. I think it was Dyson’s first beach experience. I let him walk through the sand and walk in the edge of the water, but only for a minute so that my shoes stayed dry. He did well.
This was one of the first times I was out in public without another service dog. Savannah sometimes has Bud and his handler join us and sometimes brings Vince. I knew that people would stare and whisper, but I’m still uncomfortable with it. Sometimes people come up to me and tell him how good he is or how pretty he is, but luckily I haven’t had many people ask me lots of personal questions yet.
Edit: I forgot to mention that he pooped for the first time with me!