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Monday, May 9, 2011

FLD Gus in the Beauty Salon

Lately I've taken the "ask for forgiveness is easier than asking permission" approach when bringing FLD Gus into public establishments.  It seems to work.

Andy drops FLD Gus and me off at Mary's Beauty Salon in busy West Branch--he's off to Home Depot.  How can I resist an advertised $10 haircut, especially when my haircut philosophy is twofold tolerant?  One:  the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is two weeks.  Two:  it can NEVER be too short!

Mary's Salon is one no-longer-white wooden door among several in a long, narrow redwood stained building on the east side of town.  I open the door, expecting a creeeeeeek, but it is silent as the wind catches it and flings it out of my right hand.  FLD Gus stretches forward while I struggle to catch the door.  Inside, a Shih Tzu, head hair pulled tight out of his eyes with a green bow, stretches toward Gus in return.

Ahead, a woman with wet hair wearing a black-plastic gown sits in a straight-back chair and says to someone out of my sight to the left, "She's got a dog."

"Gizmo," the unseen stranger says.  "Get back here."  The little Gizmo bounces away.  FLD Gus and I finally enter.  The unseen woman turns out to be Mary the proprietor, who also cuts my hair.

FLD Gus skates his nails on the linoleum floor trying to get at Gizmo.  Is is okay if I bring my Leader Dog-in-training in? I ask, in-between telling Gus to leave it and getting him to sit.  Mary is more than gracious; she even offers to put Gizmo out in her car.  But Gizmo-in-the-beauty-salon is an unexpected opportunity for FLD Gus to practice self-control.

Mary ends up leashing Gizmo to her desk by the door.  I loop Gus's leash around the base of the salon-chair against the far wall.  The room is so small, the two dogs are able to touch nose-to-nose, but nothing more.  After a cursory sniff, Gizmo retreat underneath the desk and proceeds to relieve himself.  FLD Gus settles into an alert down, and stays put the short time it takes Mary to snip off my unruly locks.  Good boy, Gus!

Afterwards, FLD Gus and I work on loose-leash heeling down the distracting main drag of West Branch.  We end up at the Ogemaw County Habitat for Humanity ReStore and browse around until Andy picks us up there after his errands.

"Nice haircut," he says.

On the drive home, FLD Gus craps out in the van. 
FLD Gus about to fall asleep on the back seat of the van.

p.s.  FLD Gus wishes Sofia a very happy birthday!


  1. Isn't it fun when you find unexpected training/distraction work? LOL I'm glad to know that things like that happens to the Leader dogs in training since stuff like that happens to the handlers more often than not. :) Sounds like he did a good job. :)

  2. Yes, Jess, it is fun, and this is exactly why we puppy-raisers take our Future Leader Dog puppies every where we go! Can't stage this stuff. LOL