I have been having trouble finding the best way to get Bear to be of help to me. It isn’t as easy as it may appear on the outside. I hated going into stores because people would stare at us or make comments so I would just rush in, get what I needed, and rush out… all the time stressed out to my max. I have now adopted a new way of doing this and it seems like it may just work for us.
When we go into a store (remember, I have a 1 year old and a 4 year old) we just have to go in there with the idea that this is going to take a while! I go down every isle that I need to. Use to (pre-Bear and just after returning) if the isle was crowded I would skip it… thereby not being able to get everything we needed. Now, if I see an isle is crowded we make our way slowly, stop a lot and even at time just stand in one spot until it clears out enough for us to proceed at a pace I am comfortable with. I was amazed that we made it through the grocery store during the 530pm rush with two children and Bear and made it out (an hour and a half later) with everything that I went in for.
As for comments. The one I get the most is “What kind of dog is that?”. I always answer, “Oh, he is a black lab.” I am sure they want to know WHAT he does and that they can plainly see he is a black lab, but I usually walk away before any more questions are asked. I’ve had a few ask if he was a guard dog, I say no and leave. I am always polite but usually not in the mood to get long and drawn out.
An incident that got me a little upset and just ready to leave the situation was last week at a program my son is in. It was a little demo of what they had learned and all the parents were invited to come and watch. When it was over we were waiting for a lot of the crowd to leave before heading out. A grandmother of one of the students came over with her little girl. The grandmother said, “Oh, don’t get close to that lady, she has a guard dog!”. I waited a minute because I wasn’t sure if I should just ignore it (like I ignore the “Oh she’s training that dog!” comments) but I finally turned around and said he was a medical dog, not a guard dog, turned back around and asked hubby if we could leave now.