April 7, 2011

079 - Reactions To Romero

Romero and I are taking a break from our normal "photo-a-day" format to join in the 3rd Assistance Dog  Blog Carnival with the theme of REACTIONS:
Spending the majority of my time with a dog guide puppy in training by my side, I encounter many different reactions from the people we meet throughout the day. Take today, for example ...
Romero and I were up early, catching the train into Toronto where we were helping out with a fundraiser at one of the subway stations. It's always fun to see the smiles on the commuters' faces as they pass by the puppies. Several people commented that puppy greetings were the best way to start the morning!
After the morning rush, Romero and I ran some errands and ended up at the mall. We stopped to take a rest on a bench, and were soon joined by an older couple who stopped to admire Romero. A brief encounter can turn into a thirty minute conversation when there's a puppy involved. We covered the typical topics ("How old is your puppy?" "What kind of dog guide will he be?" "How do you teach him to be so calm?" and of course "Won't you be sad to give him up?") and even ventured into a bit of baseball chatter (after explaining that Romero was named after a baseball player).
Next was a bathroom break for me. Romero does well in public washrooms, tucking in to the tiny stalls. I do wonder what people think when they see a little black tail sticking under the door though!
For lunch, we met up with a friend and her dog guide puppy - Romero's "girlfriend" Jewel. With two puppies, we attract even more attention (and you can imagine the reaction when get together with a group of ten or more puppies!).
The main event of the day was an outing to the Blue Jays game. I have taken Romero and my previous foster puppies to the Rogers Centre many times before, and never had any access problems. Today, they didn't bat an eye at the two dogs, but security was concerned about the roll of paper towels in my backpack. Once I explained that they were for puppy cleanups "just in case" and I wasn't planning to throw them on the field, we were allowed into the stadium.
We settled into our seats - way up top but with a great view for both us and the dogs - and the two pups promptly fell asleep. They remained that way for most of the game, showing no reaction to the clapping and cheering of the people around us.
Probably my favourite reaction to Romero ever came after the game. We had stopped to get a picture of Romero under Ricky Romero's banner outside the stadium, and a fellow Blue Jays fan must have overheard us saying Romero's name. He asked me if I'd named my dog after a Blue Jay, and when I said that I had, he stopped to shake my hand. This led to another conversation about both baseball and dog guides, and before we parted ways he gave me another sincere handshake, this time in appreciation of the work I do as a volunteer puppy raiser. It was an unnecessary gesture (fostering these puppies is more enjoyable and rewarding than I can explain) but appreciated nonetheless - so thanks, Mr. Blue Jays Fan, and I hope Romero and I will run into you at another game sometime!
Black lab puppy Romero is in a down on the concrete floor beneath a blue stadium seat at the Rogers Centre. He is wearing his green future dog guide jacket. His head is perked up and he is looking slightly off to the right, with his paws hanging over the ledge in front of him. Next to Romero (slightly behind him in this photo) is another dog guide puppy, black lab Jewel. Jewel is about 10 months old, but about the same size as Romero, with a thin, triangular face and big floppy ears. She is looking towards the camera with her chin resting on the ground. There is no one sitting in the seats above the dogs (we are in front of them taking this picture) but there are several jackets and bags saving our seats.
And now for our report on our 2nd baseball game of the season ...

Our Seat: Section 523, Row 10, Seat 1
Our Record: 1-1
Memorable Moments:
- Romero's first "date" with Jewel
- Seeing Ricky Romero pitch live and awesomely
- Aaron Hill (Sam's favourite position player) getting the first hit of the game, then stealing second and breaking his belt in the process
- Coming close in the bottom of the ninth

No comments:

Post a Comment