Marshall and I foolishly went shopping on Saturday completely forgetting that it was Superbowl weekend (alright side note: how bad is it that spell check recognizes “Superbowl” but not “ketone”?). Needless to say we walked into Market Basket and it was absolutely insane. Not only were there people covering nearly every inch of the floor but we had managed to enter the store with people that clearly get out into public even less than I do. Marshall and I tend to stick together in the grocery store, we have a system and it involves us moving through the store together. Well on Saturday, we had to divide and concur. There were two reasons for this. First, it was nuts, people wouldn’t move or even acknowledge that they weren’t alone in the aisle and we just wanted to get the hell out of there. Secondly, because Marshall suffers from a form of road rage I would like to call “stupid people rage”, and it stresses me out. He gets very bothered when people act like idiots and/or ass holes. Seems reasonable, but let’s face it- there is no way that we can make it through a day out in public where we won’t meet someone who acts like a dumb ass.
Well Judah was being exceptional and I was extremely impressed with his behavior. He was focused, quick to respond and just in the zone. He was focused on me, and our carriage- on a mission, get in, get what we need and get out. So as we weaved through the thick crowds of people many people never even realized he was there. As we made our way through the store we moved past the regular coos, whistling, clucking, and other annoying and sometimes rude attempts to distract the dog. He didn’t react to a single one, good boy Judah. As Marshall and I congregated on the cart to drop off our spoils he told me that in the dairy section a lady had gasped upon seeing Judah and said, “There is an animal in here”. He informed me that he had bitten his tongue (good boy Marshall) and that she was being wretched to her husband at the same time so obviously she was an evil lady.
In the bread aisle I was passed by a little girl and her mother. The little girl asked her mother if Judah was an attack dog and then went out of ear shot as I heard her mother start to explain service dogs- good job mom! As we finally headed to the front of the store it was even more insane than the rest of the store had been. Soon after we tacked ourselves onto the end of a line they began to announce over the loud speaker that to line up for a register, please line up in aisle 11… wow. Needless to say, we stood in line forever. Behind us a family had come into line and I could hear the little girl talking to her dad about Judah. I couldn’t hear all the parts of the conversation but I heard her father tell her she couldn’t pet him because he was working etc etc. Eventually we struck up conversation because Judah was trying to sit on the freshly waxed floor and his feet wouldn’t stay underneath him. The dad asked what he would do when he was done training, and once again I began to explain what he does and how he is already working. The people in the lines around us began to jump in and talk about how neat they thought that was. I gave Judah the “go visit” release and he soaked up some love from the little girl and her dad while mom snapped a couple pictures.
After I put Judah “back to work” he started sniffing intensely, and started sitting up and looking to his right. Then he would lay back down and do it all over again. He then got up and sniffed toward me, then again began to strain to the right, then bump bump, pull to the right. That wasn’t an alert for me… After a few minutes he stopped doing it and stopped looking off to the right, perhaps he was picking up on someone else waiting in line? I don’t know but I checked when we got to the car just to confirm- it wasn’t me.
It was funny, how he was acting. It was different but rather obvious to me that he was picking up on someone, he had that concerned look in his eyes and was being very specific about where he was directing the behavior. What do I do when he does this? Should I have stepped out of line and let him find the person? Or is that ridiculous and I should mind my own business? Sometimes I wonder if I have a responsibility to make sure people are safe like a doctor or if I need to remember how strange that would be for a person to have me tell them that my dog thinks they should check their blood sugar…