West has come so far, I figured it was about time he started getting "out and about". I wanted to enter him in a basic obedience class this session (sessions start every 2 months), but wasn't sure how he'd do with all the commotion. I didn't want to waste a class by entering him, only to have to sit in the corner for 8 weeks hiding from everyone. I figured I could simulate the stress of a class by taking him to town.
Today, my mom and gramma were going into Zellers. I figured it would be fairly quiet (Zellers is not all that popular since the Walmart opened up) and I know the layout of the parking lot fairly well, so I loaded up West in a crate, and off we went.
West was willing to take treats through the crate bars throughout the ride to our first stop. Between the first and second stop, I heard the "noise". He was sick. Sigh, so the shirt isn't a cure, but it sure seems to have helped. I think being in the crate might be an issue for him too. Lots of factors to play with (this was also a different car). We stopped at Zellers to let mom and gramma out, then I drove to the edge of the parking lot.
I opened the hatch and the crate door. West showed no desire to get out, which was fine. He waited nicely while I cleaned up his kennel, leashed him, then I invited him out. He looked at me like I must have grown two heads. He shrunk back into his kennel and shook a little. Poor guy! So, I just sat beside him in the back of the car, and fed him treats. After about 2 minutes, he was able and willing to come right out to the front of the crate, confidently. So, I stood up and invited him out again. Boing! Out he came!
Wow, the world is big! I assumed West would be worried about the people, but he mostly was focused on/worried about the traffic. He wasn't moving toward the cars, just seemed to be watching them and following them with his eyes. We stood near the car, got some treats for looking calmly, but then traffic picked up, so we moved to an area farther from traffic (though more likely to have pedestrian traffic).
Sometime about then is when I pulled out the camera. You can see West working in a fairly busy mall parking lot below.
He did awesome. What a good boy. I put the camera away, we did a little more work over there, then went back to near the car and played about 5 minutes of LAT with random strange people 4 or 5 cars away. He got close to barking a couple times, but came back to me instead for his treat. Good boy, West!!