One of the things service dogs have to be good at is waiting quietly. They'll be asked do a lot of that in their life – they only need to work when their person needs them, so downtime is a big part of their day. At first glance it may seem like an easy task, but being quiet is sometimes difficult for a dog to learn.
Today I took Talos to the local public library. I'd planned to do some work on my laptop, while giving Talos some "office experience:" how to lay quietly for an hour or two in a public place. Two years ago, when I worked for the Federal government, the pups learned this relatively quickly – they were immersed in office life nine hours a day, five days a week. We had a few restless meetings, but in general, the pups learned that when nothing was required of them, it was nap time.
I don't have an office environment, so today was Talos' first real "office experience." I was prepared: I took his portable bed, a stuffed food toy, and a regular dog toy to help occupy his body and mind. We found a nice, quiet cubby out of the way of the library traffic and away from other patrons. I gave him a quick tour of the library, so he could have a few moments to see where he was and what was (and wasn't) going on, then headed back to my cubby to get some work done.
I put Talos' bed under the desk, gave him his chew bone, and got to work. For about two minutes. He wasn't interested in the chew bone. He could hear children across the library, and apparently they'd peaked his interest. I threw a few pieces of dog food under the table to get his attention back to where I needed him to be. He was happy to eat the food, then was ready to explore again.
I took him on another quick circle of the library, letting him sniff and explore, but not letting him meet any people. (No one asked to meet him – I would have let him greet if anyone asked.) He flopped down on his side, began running his big lips along the carpet in one of the aisles and proceeded to sing. Oh good lord – not now, not here!
I managed to get him up and back to our out-of-the-way cubby, only to find a woman had chosen to sit right next to us. Out of the 50 free cubbys, she picked ours to sit next to. Another distraction for Talos. I tried again to get him to sit or lay quietly under the table, but he was having nothing of it. He flopped down again, and began rolling on the floor and singing. Imagine this at your local library, except he's not on a couch, but on the library floor. We've got a lot of work ahead of us: