Last week at training, Julie asked me how Zeta gets along with young/small children. I had to think a little as she (nor Niro and Kora) does not get to see/be around young or small children anymore. They did when they were younger and were being introduced to anything and everything, but not so much now.
Whilst at Kensington Metro Park this weekend there was a walk to promote allergy awareness in children. It was a surprise for us to see so many people there, but as Julie’s conversation was fresh in my mind, I thought I would take the opportunity to take both Zeta and Niro towards the walkers although it was not my intention to have them interact at this point.
They both sat there watching everyone pass by, but I could tell that so many people, stollers, young children etc were getting them a little stressed, but it wasn’t long before a small group of people and children decided they simply had to come over and pet them. They did ask prior to, thank goodness, but both were getting a little too excited at this point so my response was that it was probably not the best time to pet them as they were in training and do not usually see this many people.
Within a few minutes though, three adults and a young girl came over and asked to pet them. Before I could answer, Zeta had positioned herself at the feet of the man, wriggling all over the place as he scratched and petted her. Niro was happy to be petted also. Both Zeta and Niro loved the little girl, licking her hands and face (she was just a little taller than Niro’s head).
It turned out that one of the ladies is a puppy raiser for Leader Dogs for Blind and between her and her mother, has raised 22 puppies for them. She also knows of Julie and her dreadful loss last year.
Isn’t it such a small world? Of the hundreds of people on this walk and of all of the times for us to decide to take a few minutes out of our own walk to watch the procession, this happened to be the time when this family walked by and decided to come over to us.
It was also very interesting for me to see how both Zeta and Niro reacted to the first group of people who wanted to approach them, compared to the second.
In answer to Julie’s question, Zeta appears to love everyone – tall, short, young and old, but we certainly need to take a leaf out of Lynda and Jack’s book and continue to socialize both Zeta and Niro so that I can immediately say to Julie “Absolutely, you can put Zeta in any situation and she is 100% reliable with everything in her path”.