It was a rainy, but not a stormy, day, so Argo and I set out for foul weather training. My vehicle, recently purchased from the Joads, needed washing and what better car wash than Mother Nature’s? I put Argo’s Southeastern Guide Dog coat on him, and both his tail wagging velocity and his body wiggling intensity increased. For this pup, the SEGD coat is like the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
We headed out the back door. After I opened the passenger side door, I told him “in.” He immediately hopped in and turned around. I tied him down to the seat bottom and shut the door. He stayed.
Garage door up and engine started, I backed out as rain fell hard on the car. Argo looked around. Then, he curled up on the floorboard.
Two stops were planned and both were within five minutes of our house. The first stop was the bank. We could have gone through the drive-through line, but what would be the lesson there? So, after parking, I battled with a pink, practically defunct umbrella and walked around to the passenger side of the car. When I told Argo “out” he jumped out, looked around, and, with aplomb, strode with me in the rain to the bank door. After sniffing at some smushed chewing gum and flicked cigarette butts on the concrete entryway, he parked himself while I fussed to close the recalcitrant umbrella.
Once inside, a friendly bank official greeted us by saying, “Oh, I know that blue coat!” She came out of her office and was soon joined by two other employees. Argo attempted to contain his enthusiasm (after several reminders) by sitting, yet craning his neck out so people would know he was available for petting. After a minute or two at the bank social, however, it was time to make my cash deposit. Even though there was no one in line but us, it was a good time to teach the concept of waiting with few distractions. I made my deposit while Argo intermittently sat beside me. Errand accomplished, I reluctantly picked up the pink, refuse-to-open-or-close umbrella outside, and Argo and I walked in the rain to the car. Again, he jumped in when told.
The second stop was Goin’ Postal where I needed to buy a 1-cent stamp. Again, we walked in the rain to the door. We walked in as no less than three employees visited with us. Argo was “four on the floor” for most of the visit, but had to be reminded not to jump when a big, young guy came around the corner and knelt down in front of him. The employees told me to bring Argo back anytime.
On the way home, Argo fell asleep.
At home again, Argo got a treat for being such a good dog on the outing. Coat removed, he then resumed the nap he started en route to the bank. The now soaked, pink umbrella stayed in the car since misbehaving umbrellas do not get attention.
©Rita Venable 2013