Alfie and Piper working hard!
Today we had a great opportunity to do some PR for GDTx and have a great training session, all in one. The Office of the Attorney General hosted its annual State Employees' Charitable Campaign fair, and basically one big room was lined with booths from all kinds of great charities for employees to visit.
Since I knew the Pawsitive Approach guide-dogs-in-training would be there too, I thought it would be smart to give Alfie a little free run first to get the wiggles out and help him settle down. So our first stop of the day was the dog park. Alfie split his time between dogs and people, ran around, and generally had a blast. After that it was back to the car, a once-over with damp washcloth and comb to get him looking nice again, and off to the SECC fair.
I was so glad I did that! When I arrived I found that not only were our guide dogs there, but also the Humane Society had a booth with an adoptable dog ambassador. As we walked in the Humane Society dog leaped up, barked, and licked Alfie's face -- normally that would be a huge distraction, but having just had 30 minutes of doggie play at the park, Alfie responded pretty calmly and we got past without much fuss.
At our booth we met up with Larry Gelvin (Puppy Raising Manager), Kim Zielinski (Development Director), and the Pawsitive Approach crew, who brought Piper and Travis. Piper is the yellow lab puppy pictured above, and Travis is a big black lab with adorable sad eyes, ready to head in for advanced training. After some initial excitement, all three settled in and did very well -- we put Piper at one end of the table, with Travis between her and Alfie, as she was quite excited to see Alf and wanted to play!
Alfie enjoyed meeting all the visitors to our booth, especially since we were allowing everyone to pet the dogs (a treat he doesn't usually get on our training walks!) It was a great experience for him meeting all kinds of people, and many seemed genuinely interested in our mission of providing mobility for visually impaired Texans. The #1 comment people made on meeting him? "He's so SOFT!!"
Just don't call me a softie!