Brave recycling dog

This wasn’t the post I intended to write today, but Spencer was so brave today, that we are interrupting our usual programming.

In a previous post, I mentioned that Spencer is now responsible for carrying the glass to the recycling bin. He even gets excited when he hears the glass clinking in the basket because he knows there’s a good chance it means a walk around the block.

So this morning, we went to the recycling bin. He seems to take this job quite seriously — there’s none of the usual sniffing around while we walk up the hill and he doesn’t pull at the leash either (that may be a factor of the extra weight).

As we walked in front of the school on the corner, a young couple across from us walked up to the bus stop right next to the recycling bin and sat down on the bench. I wasn’t sure if Spencer could manage them being so close (especially since she was sitting on the boy’s lap, which might be odd enough to provoke a reaction because reactive dogs really don’t do well with anything unusual).

I didn’t worry too much about it because you can also access the recycling bin from the parking lot just beside it, so we walked around and approached from behind.

The parking lot belongs to the swimming pool, and I failed to take into account the number of people taking their kids swimming on a Sunday morning. Just as we arrived, a car pulled into the spot across from the recycling bin and a big family started to pour out of it.

To make matters worse, Spencer chose this moment to poop in the parking lot. Not only did this prevent us from any counter moves to keep him away from strangers, it also meant I would have to keep him near me and calm while cleaning up with lots of strangers moving nearby. Clearly our near daily visits to the busy park nearby have paid off, because he didn’t even blink.

We walked over tot he recycling bin, and it was then that I realized the car parked in front of it was not empty. A guy was behind the steering wheel with the window partway down, but the motor running. I had no way of knowing if he was about to get out or drive away. (He actually did neither while we were there, but the uncertainty had me a little nervous.)

I got Spencer as close to the recycling bin as I could without risking him cutting his feet and then started to unload him. For the most part, he was great and even tried to sit at one point in time. However, he was shuffling around a bit, which made me nervous because of the broken glass, and I was afraid he’d pick up on my tension and misinterpret it, which happily he didn’t! He got treated as the bravest dog ever for handling everything going on around him so well.

Later this afternoon we went to the gas station, and he sat quietly in the car while I was pumping gas and while I went inside to pay. This was amazing because quite a few strangers were near the car, including the woman hanging around suspiciously watching her car go through the car wash. Again, he got told that he is the bravest dog ever!

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