This weekend Mr. Taleteller and I decided to be really brave and take an outing with Küster and Flattery to do a little shopping. While Flattery is a little older than Küster, he has more life experience with different things, but they are both still learning about the world and in need of socialization. While I prefer taking Bunny with me when I go places, I also know that Flattery has to have chances to go out and do things if she’s going to be as wonderful to take out as Bunny. Mr. Taleteller and Küster are really getting intensive about training and this means that Küster needs to get out every chance we’re able to take him. I know that he’ll be fine on the trailing part of his certification, but he will also be tested on his manners and obedience and those things still need some polish.
Of course, it’s a little different depending on Küster to be the role model. Okay, it’s downright scary. In some ways, I still see him as the baby dog, even though he has really grown up a lot. Flattery has her own set of issues to deal with. She hasn’t experienced a lot of things in the world and she is still very keen on little furry things. She turns into another creature that I don’t recognize when she sees something that looks like prey. So, needless to say, the potential for embarrassment was pretty high for both of us.
Our first stop was Big R. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a farm store, but they have all kinds of things in it. There’s a pet section and, obviously, a livestock section, but they also sell home goods, toys, clothes, and a variety of other neat things. Mr. Taleteller likes taking Küster in there because there are a variety of challenging things that he can try to get Küster to try and see, like getting up on a wheeled cart, jumping up on a stack of rubber mats or hopping into a livestock water trough. To my great amusement and Mr. Taleteller’s utter horror and humiliation, Flattery turned out to be better at those things than Küster. I’ve joked with my husband quite a bit over the last six weeks about how we might have adopted the world’s first search and rescue Greyhound. Oddly, he was not amused when I joked about this at the store.
The staff at Big R is always very friendly with the dogs and Flattery and Küster both loved the attention. We met a man and his wife who have been hoping to adopt a Greyhound the next time they get a pet. He admired Küster, too, and commented that he’d never seen a black German Shepherd before. Both of them accepted all the attention they got as if it were their due.
After that, we headed down to Bass Pro. This store is a lot bigger and a lot busier than Big R. They have both been inside before, so it wasn’t a total shock, but it was the first time either of them had been there without Bunny. I felt a little anxiety grip me, uncertain how they’d react inside, but it turned out I didn’t need to worry. We walked in and there was a woman sitting in the lounge area with her broken foot or leg propped up on a little cart while she waited for someone to finish shopping. Flattery immediately approached and shared some Greyhound affection with her. The woman seemed a bit enchanted. It was the beginning of a trend that followed us through the store.
We ran into countless people who all wanted to meet the dogs, especially Flattery. She carried herself so well and I was really proud of her. She approached everyone calmly. Everyone who met her was very surprised that we’d just added her to our family six weeks ago. Honestly, I was surprised that it’s only been that long myself. She took all the people in the store, the new sights and sounds and even meeting other dogs there in stride.
Flattery and Küster also managed to not start trying to play with each other while we were there. I admit that I had visions of them getting us banned from the store if they started some of their puppy antics, but they were both very grown up and well-behaved. It was a great feeling to have them both do so well and have everyone else enjoy them as much as we do. Well, as much as we do at home without the crazy puppy antics.