Mindy is proud.

This entry is part 13 of 25 in the series Service Dog Training
black lab puppy lying down and chewing on dried beef trachea chew

“…delicious trachea chew….”

So Mindy’s unlocked a new achievement — she can now jump on our (taller than usual) bed. As she’s not allowed on the bed, this has resulted in repeated escorts to the floor.

Today, however, when we went out to the car, I didn’t pick her up. As I was putting in our gear, she jumped into the car and went into her crate. I treated, and away we went to the dealership for an oil change.

As we were leaving, I took Mindy to the back of the car. She looked at me, and I invited her to jump in.

Proudest moment today. Mindy got to put herself in the car, like a big dog. She was smug for whole minutes afterward.

She doesn’t get to jump down yet, though. We want to be careful of her joints.

In related news, I’ve found a great way to explain why people can’t just come up and start petting the cute puppy.

“But why can’t I pet a service dog? What does it matter?”

“Because if at any moment someone might grab your butt, it would be very hard for you to focus on your job.”

/pause/ /nod/ “Oh. Yeah.”

I smiled and made it a joke, and it worked great! The man didn’t fret any more, just asked relevant questions.

Meanwhile, the woman standing right beside us for that conversation walked up and invited Mindy to jump on her, petting her until I pulled the puppy away. One step forward, two steps back….

About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

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  1. Hi Laura,
    It looks like you aren’t the only one to incorporate “butt sniffing/butt goosing” into explaining why you cannot interact with a working service dog (or service dog in training).


    How is Mindy’s training going? How big is she?

    My parents dog Charlie lost his war with lymphoma about 12 days ago. It was time (and the oncologist was really good about let us know that) and I’m glad I was able to be there with my Dad as we sent Charlie to the Bridge. They have “Annika” a 3 year old boxer-mix and she is more than a handful, but as you know, there is an emptiness.


    • I’m so sorry to hear about your parents’ dog. That’s so hard. Knowing that you did it at the right time can be a small but important consolation.

      Thanks for sharing the article link! I had totally missed International Guide Dog Day. It’s an important topic! More updates on Mindy and other training topics coming soon, as I’ve been traveling in April with very limited internet. Should be back with full access next week!

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