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:
Haha on no Talos!! I work for Howard County Library, you should bring him by our branch. We’re next to a middle school so at 2:45 every day we get about 60 noisy middle schoolers descending on us. Talos would fit right in!
When you worked in an office, did they have to let you bring the service pups to work with you, or did you just have an understanding boss?
Laurie Luck says
We were in the Glenwood branch of the Howard County Library. I’ll have to drop by in the afternoon next time, not the morning!
Yes, I was able to bring the pups-in-training to work every day with me. The law in MD allows service dogs in training the same public access as a disabled person. The dogs were always popular at work, and a great stress reliever. People would stop in just for a few minutes to pet the dog on their breaks – the dogs loved it and it relieved the stress, too!
Oh Glenwood is quieter than us, we’re in the East Columbia branch. It can be quite a zoo in here!
How neat about bringing the service pups to work. What a great way to get them socialized, and fun for coworkers as well! If only we could all bring our pups to work, we’d have a nation of dogs who are used to being in public and laying quietly in an office…