Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Can I Touch That?

 Yesterday was a big day for Coach.  We took him out for lunch and on an errand.  That usually never happens at school.  On school days, the exposures are all school related: playgrounds, convocations, band, etc.  But it's finals, and the cafeteria service is winding down, so we go out for lunch.

Yesterday, we had a couple of errands to run, so we decided to eat at the buffet at Whole Foods Market, which was right down the street from Barnes and Noble.  We are very efficient.

Whole Foods is a great place to take a Southeastern Guide Dog in training because evidently people can't keep food on their plate.  They slop it all around.  There was food all over the produce the section.  There were bits of crackers near the cracker bins.  There was macaroni and cheese on the floor of the buffet.  Coach was delighted.  I was not.

"No."  This was as bad as the Berkeley cafeteria.  I thought I was going to have a relaxing lunch!  Don't Whole Food shoppers know how to put food into cartons?  Sheesh! Coach was really good though.  I made him down stay by a piece of macaroni and cheese and he didn't eat it.  I was able to successfully scoop up some Cuban chicken and rice while receiving interesting looks from other diners.  I did make one mistake.  I didn't have a tight hold on Coach and he managed to touch his cold nose touch to the back of a guy's calf.

I did pull him away quickly and apologize, but I'm sure you can imagine, a cold nose to the back of your calf can be a little disconcerting.  Especially if you are gathering up your food.  I think that the man mentally went to a bad place, like rats, or vermin or something bad, because he had a really sour expression on his face and he didn't seem happy at all.  Or, it could be like the other day when we were in Publix and Fred whispered to me, "Hey, when we get past the flowers, look at the lady in the purple shirt."


Fred glanced back at her.  "She was giving us the stink eye."

"No, I think that's just her face."

It could have been just that guy's face, or it could have been that he was some sort of Howard Hughes freak about neatness and the idea that every step Coach took a hair was falling out was freaking him out to the point where his face muscles all seized up.  I don't know.  But, whatever. Lunch was delicious.  Then we went to the bakery and that is when things really got interesting.

Coach sitting before a full bakery case.

I've often said that having a puppy in training is a lot like having a perpetual two-year and this was especially true on this exposure.  Being at Whole Foods with Coach was like that trip to the bakery you take with your toddler where you have not fed them and they are hungry and they look at the bakery case and they really want something and for some reason you didn't think to put them in the grocery cart, so they are toddling around on their fat little legs and their little hands are covered in spit and dirt and God knows what and they are getting closer and closer to the window as they yell out, "I want that!" and smack their hand down on the glass leaving a big hand print and the entire bakery staff turns and stares at you because now, you are THAT mom: the mom that makes them clean the glass.

Coach lying in a down stay and looking toward the camera.

So we walked up to the grocery case and I put Coach into a sit, which is a little too close for comfort because we were near a crack in the glass.  Good fumes were wafting up to Coach.  His little brain was thinking, "Cake.  I want some cake."

He looked down at the cake and just kept moving down until his nose hit.  Nose juice all over the glass.

EEEK.  "Coach! Down!" Coach looks at me.  He turns back to the case, because he knows that we have enough time for me to say one good dog, two good dog in my head before I say NO! and in that space of time he licks the glass.

Coach lying in a down stay by the bakery case and gazing at the cakes.

Time stands still.

It's very quiet where we are. Almost unnaturally so.  I stare at Coach.  It's was a quick lick.  Barely a lick.  And then he is down.  Down and calm.  Zen.  Like he didn't lick anything at all.  A satisfied lick. I stare at the glass.  Can you see the lick?  I look at Jan.  I can't see the lick.  

The baker pops up with our cupcakes.  

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  If a bakery glass case is licked but no one can see the lick, was it really licked?

We took our cupcakes and walked away. 

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