We were in the Fox Cities celebrating my grandma's 89th birthday. Whenever, we visit the area, it is like a trip back into the past. Four years ago when we started raising puppies in the Madison area, we experienced access issues and drew constant stares when entering establishments. History repeated itself in a few grocery stores this weekend; blatant stares and we often overheard people asking "Why is there a dog in here?"
This was one of the issues that we discussed with our old friend Banjo, his CVC partner Brooke, and her family. Monte and Banjo overlapped at our home for two weeks last May. We have found it helpful to have an older dog around when housebreaking a puppy.
I was surprised at how well the canines did when meeting each other; they were both business-like. We took a short stroll around the neighborhood where we got to see Banjo working. Although it was brief, it was clear that he was committed to his job and protective of his partner. Business ended when we returned home where they "shared" a bowl of ice water and reestablished their friendship.
Even as the dogs interacted, it was clear that Brooke loved Banjo very much, and vice versa; they were in constant contact. My lasting memory will be of Banjo stretched out on the floor snuggling with Brooke who was resting her head on his chest listening to his heart beat.
We humans chatted about our "guide dog" experiences as puppy raisers and a CVC team. We discussed the occasional access issues and how to better educate the public, but mostly shared stories about the positive aspect of having dogs in our lives.