|The view outside the Arts Centre - nice kites but NOT a nice|
day at all. It was still a success despite that though.
Anyway, the day was still fully on, it just wouldn't be outside much at all. I had been planning to take Knightley because it was going to be outside and so he couldn't really cause any fuss if he misbehaved a little outside. Also, if he did behave well it would be good for the staff to see, as I would really like to take Knightley with me to the Centre when he is fully trained. However, being inside I was a little apprehensive as I was staying for several hours, and wasn't sure at all how Knightley would handle all the fuss, and whether he would settle enough for me to actually 'work'. I was on the information desk, greeting people as they came in our doors, so I did have to be able to concentrate. Anyway, I got permission to take him anyway, but decided that hubby should come in with me and Knightley and if it looked like Knightley wasn't going to be able to settle down, then he could just go home with hubby.
He settled down to his well trained plodplod quickly, and despite lots of little kites, banners, music, and a very loud MC in a wig on huge stilts he wasn't phased much at all (we even had bunches of kids running back and forth in kite races later in the day and he slept through them!). I was very proud of him. I ended up at the information desk for about four hours, although I took Knightley out into the drizzle several time for toilet breaks, and he went on cue each time (I LOVE those cues so much when it's raining and I just want him to do his business so I can get back inside). He got lots and lots of compliments about his behaviour (and how gorgeous he is), and I think actually having a rather cute dog lying under the table at the front of the building was a positive thing, not a negative as I think some of the more senior staff members see the potential of Knightley to be!
We did have one bad moment though. And I cringe to remember it. Our Executive Director who has previously given me paid work at the Centre and in general has been very good to me was thanking people separately over the PA system, after thanking everyone for coming along to the event. She mentioned me, and said I was the one with the 'companion' dog... don't know why some people say companion instead of assistance/service, but anyway.... So everyone looks at me and Knightley of course. She finishes speaking, everyone applauds. Then the MC guy on massive stilts yells out to all the kids in the audience "So, is everybody having fun here today????" .... and ...... cringe cringe cringe..... Knightley barked!!!! Just one single bark!! OH NO! I wanted to crawl away in embarrassment! Anyway, the MC guy laughed and said "I guess that means yes!!" and like 200 people laughed at Knightley's naughtiness. I was so shocked and appalled! I think he kinda just wanted to join in and play... he'd been very good really, very self controlled for a 10 month old dog surrounded by such fun, music and chaos.... and it just got too much. Still.... he has done this single bark a couple of times now. Once was when hubby came back from England a couple of months ago and collected one of his bags from the conveyor belt in the airport and just threw the bag towards me and Knightley without really thinking. Knightley was so shocked he let out a single bark. He's done it once somewhere else too, but I can't quite remember where.
Actually, I did have one more issue, which would become more pressing if I did get permission to take him to work when he is fully trained. It was pretty easy to not have the public pat Knightley, they more or less obeyed the patches on his vest that say "NO TOUCH"... but when it came to other staff and volunteers at the Arts Centre, I eventually made the rule that they were allowed to touch as they were 'family', so long as Knightley wasn't actually doing anything. Does anyone reading this take their assistance/service dogs to work, and how do they handle it? It would make getting Knightley's focus harder if it meant he was trying to solicit attention when I wanted him to do something. Maybe it should stay a 'no touch' rule, I don't know. Sigh. Maybe only touching allowed when Knightley is resting in a down? Will have to think about it.
|Trying to get the pesky ball! He really gets into it and it gets|
him panting with effort so it's a good way to get exercise on
a wet day. I wouldn't probably risk a brand new ball that I
wanted though lol! Look at that canine tooth!