When service dogs or dogs in training go out in public, they always draw attention. For the past year and a half that Donna has been raising Nubble, he has opened the door to many conversations with people. In fact, many local people are no longer strangers because of Nubble. They often stop and greet him by name.
Many adults ask if they can pet him, and most people know that they shouldn't just stop and pet him without permission. One time, as Donna and Nubble were walking through a store, she heard a little girl whisper, "Mom, I thought doggies weren't allowed in stores?" Donna likes when she hears parents explaining what a service dog is to their children. She also really likes when people ask about him. "I never want someone to feel like they can't ask me a question," she says. Many people don't really know what a service dog is. They often assume that Nubble is going to be a guide dog or a police dog, and Donna enjoys having the opportunity to educate people about service dogs.
When people learn that Nubble is being trained as a service dog, they usually ask many more questions. They ask Donna what she feeds him, what's in the treat pouch and what is the clicker. Some kids ask if they can give him one of the treats, and some adults actually have their own treats in their pockets. Although Donna feels bad telling them that Nubble can only get treats from her, most people understand, especially once she explains that if she let's them give him treats, he'll start to expect treats from everyone he meets. As a service dog, he will need to stay focused on his partner, not on other people.
If you would like to see more of Nubble in public, come to the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community this Saturday! He would love for you to join him. If you can't make it to the Walk, please make a donation to support Nubble and Susquehanna Service Dogs!
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