We’ve had another few zero degree days here in Chicago so outdoor adventures were once again put on hold. Eko’s appetite is never on hold though, and he burned through another bag of food which meant it was time to visit the pet store.
When I first got Eko I was so proud at how quickly I taught him to sit politely and then lay down. However, I was quickly humbled when I brought Eko to the pet store for the first time and he absolutely disregarded everything I taught him. That’s when I learned the hard truth that Eko can resist everything but temptation. These days I continue to bring Eko to the pet store as often as possible to practice patience and good manners.
Eko was quite impatient when we arrived and he tried to dart in on his own
I like to practice polite “sit” and “stay” commands in areas of the store where Eko is most distracted. It’s not easy, and there are usually a couple whines involved, but Eko does his best
As a reward I let him sniff through all the fun toys (no picking them up though!)
Eko’s loose leash walking (and my shoulder socket) get put to the test as we walk past aisle after aisle of interesting products. Eko wants to smell them all, so it’s a good way to practice walking past distractions
The pet store also offers plenty of novelty. I like introducing Eko to different stimuli to challenge him mentally and to help practice being polite when confronted with new experiences
By far the greatest challenge at the pet store is picking up Eko’s food and making it to the checkout aisle with Eko retaining his good manners and sanity. He can barely contain himself when surrounded by stacks and stacks of food. He really lays on the “puppy-dog-eyes” when we’re in the dog food aisle.
“Come on, Will. Just let me eat them all right now!”
Would it be easier to pick up Eko’s food on my own? Of course. But the pet store offers the ultimate challenge for Eko’s patience and some well needed humility for me. I also like the knowledge that if Eko follows my command perfectly in a pet store, then following that command anywhere else in the world is a piece of cake.