|Outside the FedEx Forum|
This past weekend Dante got to experience his first professional sporting event.
One thing that should be noted is that not every puppy should be brought to such a busy venue. Dante is very confident and I am not that into watching basketball, so I knew I could spend the whole time really working him, and could leave if he got overwhelmed.
Enter Security Guard #1.
Security #1: "Is that one of those service dog?"
Me: "Yes, he is a service dog in training."
Security #1: "Are you gonna take him inside?"
Me: "Yes, I am."
Security #1: "In to watch the game?"
Security #1: "Well, before you go in we are going to need to check and verify that, and will need to see and document all of its paperwork and stuff."
Now I am getting a little annoyed. The thing about service dogs and dogs in training, is that fully trained service dogs do not need to have any kind of identification. Puppies in training do, as we go on the goodwill of business owners. This arrangement can get a little messy, because people generally don't get the difference between the two, so it leaves me in an awkward spot of having to comply, but still educate, so that the next service dog team that comes through their doors is not met with the opposition that "the last dog had ID, so you should too."
Security Guard #1 walks away. Three minutes later Security #2 and #3 come over.
Security #2: "This is the service dog, right?"
Me: "Yes, he is in training."
Security #3 looks at his vest: "Ok, can I see his paperwork."
Me: hands over ID card and tries to educate them.
Security #3 proceeds to read the entire card front and back, and then...PEOPLE! She copies every. single. word. on that card onto her little notepad. "11703...this is his tattoo number?"
Me: "Yes, do you need to see it in his ear?"
Security #3: "No. (reads my mom's name) That's you?"
Me: (points to my name right under my mom's) "No, I'm Hannah"
Security #3: "OK. Oh, this card is expired."
Me: "No it is not. It doesn't expire until August when I return him to Canine Companions."
Security#3: "Oh, I read it wrong. Can I see you tickets?"
my mom hands over my ticket.
Security #3: "This is your ticket? You are sitting in this exact seat? And you're gonna have the dog? In this exact seat with you?"
(The funny thing is, I only sat in my seat for about 15 minutes.)
Security #2: "Ok, thank you."
Security Guards #2 and #3 walk away. My mom, Dante and I go to sit on a half wall to wait for the rest of our group to come back. And then... Security Guard #4 comes over. We are still OUTSIDE the building. He starts the same thing as #1, and I tell him we did it all already, at which time Security #3 yells to him that she "Got it all already." "Ok," he says, and walks away.
We get through the actual security, and make our way inside, where another plethora of security are heard radioing about "the dog in the building." Add in the dozen or so (literally) screaming people because this is the last place they expect to see a Retriever, and we have made quite the entrance.
Now we can get to how Dante did. He was a rock star. This dog is amazing. We took a few minutes to sit and take it all in, and he was great. We sat in our seats for a little, but it got too loud for him, so we spent some time at a table in the hall/concession area, and walking around with some friends. It was a lot to take in, and aside from a few distracting moments, Dante did fantastic.
One thing about this crowd is that there were no drive-by petting attempts (petting while walking by, without asking), but full on trying to embrace him, and running up head-on with outstretched arms. This was probably the busiest place Dante has ever been, so I said no to all questions about petting and to everyone else who didn't ask.
By half time, Dante was starting to wind down, and we decided to leave on a good note and while he was still doing well. So proud of this boy and the situations he has proven he can handle!
|View from our seats | People watching | Watching from our seat|