I am a federal official, I said, and I can neither offer nor solicit bribes.

The dog scowled at me from the stairs.  Having struggled against getting her vest on, she was now waiting for me to get her to the door so that we could go for a morning walk.

I, however, was not about to say the magic word: “Come!” which results in a three treat bingo.  Because guide dogs must come when they are called, they get three treats instead of the usual one to really encourage compliance.

I was darned if she was going to get a bonus treat for doing something she badly wanted to do anyway. I stood at the door holding her leash, and she stubbornly sat on the stairs and glared at me as I sweetly called her name.

Dog:  Say it

Me:  No!  You want to go for a walk, get your furry ginger butt over here.

Dog:  Saaaaaaaaaaaay it

Me:  Who’s in charge here, you mangy devil?

Dog, outraged:  Not mangy!  Beautiful!  And if you hafta ask who’s in charge, you already know answer

Me:  You wanna go for a walk?

Dog:  You know you do

Frustrated, I went to her and peeled off her vest. Then I went to the kitchen counter, removed treat bag and laid it down.

That roused her. She came dashing off the stairs, skidded into the kitchen and planted her bottom at my feet. She longingly gazed at the treat bag I’d tossed aside.

I’m not doing this for my health, I remarked, these nearly mile walks at sparrowfart.

Well, OK, I am… but it’s mostly for her.  She sat quietly for her vest and followed in exact formation to the door.  I decided not to gloat.

So if we went. As you can see from the comparison pictures she’s grown considerably since we first started walking her.

Dog on leash in vest
This morning‘s walk
Puppy in vest
Her first attempt in vest.

When we go for rides in the car, she sits in the front passenger foot well – this is where she will ride when she’s a support dog. She used to fit quite nicely as you can see. 

Puppy crouched in car passenger footwell
First time in foot well.

Now, however, is a different story. The other day we were riding along with her facing me as usual, but she put her head in my lap.  And passed out.  And drooped. 

Puppy losing battle with staying awake.

My worry is, she’s still growing and it’s a fairly small car.

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