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Friday, November 19, 2010

About One Month Later...

"Is that the same puppy that was in here a few days ago?"

I looked up from where I was on my knees perusing books on the bottom shelf in the fiction section.  A woman was busy sliding books onto the shelf a few feet away.  I recognized the librarian, but it had been more than a few days since I had FLD Gus in the main branch of the Clinton-Macomb LibraryWell, it's actually been over a month.
FLD Gus was lying next to me, sniffing book spines, attempting to chew his leash, grabbing at the zipper pull on my jacket, sneaking into my Leader Dogs for the Blind puppy-raiser "diaper bag," and otherwise not settling down as I had hoped he would.

"Wow, has he grown!"  she exclaimed.  "He's going to be a big boy."

Andy and I brought FLD Gus to this library not long after we picked him up from Leader Dogs.  The shiny floors, carpeting, and marble steps edged with a non-slip material gave Gus good exposure to different surfaces.  I recalled that he managed the three flights of stairs to the second floor without much trouble, but he struggled coming back down.

The staircase is unusual--you can see the lower level as you descend and there is a humongous planet earth suspended (and rotating) from the high ceiling--more than a little bit intimidating to a young puppy.  As I sat on a lower step to encourage FLD Gus, who balked at the top, I noticed the librarian watching us from her desk on the first floor.  Before Gus could manage to make it half-way down, she and a co-worker from the upper level converged upon us.  Gus took a welcome break while I answered their many questions; he gallantly conquered the rest of the stairs when our conversation ended.

He had no trouble with the stairs today! I told her.  She looked puzzled for a moment and then said, "Oh yes!  I remember!  He was pretty nervous.  But he's much bigger, those stairs shouldn't be a problem now."
Finally, FLD Gus settled, content to woo the nice librarian with his turning-brown puppy-eyes and a tail that whapped the floor like it was connected to a motor.  Good settle, Gus!
This library incident happened last night.  This afternoon, I took FLD Gus with me to the commissary at Selfridge ANG to pick up our turkey for next Thursday's dinner.

"Is that a new dog?

I looked up from putting my groceries on the checkout conveyor.  The checkout manager stood tippy-toed beyond the next lane, trying to catch of better glimpse of FLD Gus, who was waiting patiently next to my cart in a slippery-sit on the glossy tile floor.

Yes, I answered, well, I had this one here not too long ago...

"No," she said, "your other one was a lot bigger.  I thought this one was new."

Yep.  The other one is in training back at Leader Dogs.  We hope he gets placed with someone in February.

"What's this one's name?"

I smiled.  (Remember my "Top Ten Questions" post last Wednesday?)  His name is Gus.  He's just over three months old.  I wanted to head her off; I had already answered many of these same questions as I shopped.

"He's doing good!"  she said and turned to go back to work.

Thanks!  Nothing like a two-mile walk to calm my puppy down before taking him out to the store!  Good boy, Gus!


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