For any dog owners reading this, be it a guide dog, assistance dog or family pet I only have to say one word for you to understand what I am talking about …. HALTI !!
Fizz is a Labrador first and guide dog second. She is incredibly well trained and it goes without saying that she is fantastic at her job.
She is often led to distraction by the smell of something more interesting, someone greeting a friend, a rough pidgeon or even a leaf!
And this is where her ‘naughty nose’ works so very well. It enables me to hold more control over her and as a dog is not as strong in their noses as they are in their necks, it allows me to keep her focused on the direction I want her to go.
As a dog, she will take any possible opportunity to get it off her nose!
This means, if I stand still she will rub against my leg, or more embarrassingly; she will use the leg of a stranger.
I have commented before about my love of coffee, a love that Fizz now associates with standing in a queue.
It would just so happen, a queue is the ideal opportunity to rub her nose against strangers.
And she won’t do this at a point on their legs where they can see her. No, she will sneak behind them and nudge at a point of their legs that will cause the oddest of sensations and some times even fear to them.
Although, this fear is probably greater in the summer months, when a wet nose touches bare flesh!
Yesterday while in such a queue, Fizz introduces herself to a man infront of us. He was very chatty and would not allow me to apologise for her behaviour. He joked about how he was wondering about what explanation he would have to offer his wife; thinking he was being propositioned by me, not the daft dog!
We spoke for a few moments while I waited my turn, and when it came to it I ordered my coffee as usual only for the gentleman to offer to pay for it. I tried to stop him from doing this, but he was rather insistent, he said to think of it as a thank you. I asked him why he should be saying thank you to me, to which he replied
I am thankful to Fizz, for her enabling me to meet an inspirational young woman who has made me smile at a time of sadness in my family.
I didn’t know what else to say, other than