Riggs visits the Hospital

Nothing bad though! After work – and Tess’ big dog walk – I took Riggs to the Hospital for a little more exposure. They are tearing up the parking lot that is close to the entrance, so I parked in a nearby neighbourhood and walked him over. The whole adventure was probably the biggest “walk” I’ve done with him on leash, and I was really happy with how he did. Definitely still easily distracted (and wants to eat everything!) but keeping a little better pace now.

While the parking wasn’t as close as I would have liked, it was still a pretty good setup for our purposes. There is a large green space/off leash area right where I parked, so we were able to do some quick attention practice.  We had a fairly busy road to cross to get onto the hospital property, so I carried him across the crosswalk, then again we were onto some green space. So that was a good way to ease into it.

We started near the cancer wing of the hospital which had fewer people milling around outside. Again this helped ease him into things. The old parking lot area is right across from that wing as well, but they are constructing a new building there so he got to see some large machinery. It would have been nice (for us) if there had been some work being done, but there’s a good chance that would have been a bit much for him. The only thing I’ve seen him really struggle with exposure wise is with large trucks. So a little more distance at first is probably a good thing. But I’m glad he got to at least see it all.

He was very interested in greeting everyone we walked by. Most people seemed preoccupied so we didn’t visit anyone outside of this wing, but we still got some yummy treats when we showed interest in them, and their wheelchairs.

From there we moved closer to emergency. There were a lot more people outside around this spot, so it was good that he got to see more people. More men than some of the other locations than I have taken him to so far, some pretty banged up people (recovering), quite a few in wheelchairs. So that was good exposure for him. Closer to the entrance people weren’t very interested in saying hi – no big deal. Again he got lots of yummy treats as we passed people. As we moved on in our loop back towards the car people started to thin out. We walked past the cabs and some people waiting for rides. One young man stopped us here to say hi, Riggs was such a good boy.

Since the sidewalk widened and people thinned out we did a little obedience work while people passed. Pretty simple, just trying to get him to sit as people walked by. We need a lot more work on this but it was a very good start.

All in all this ended up being a great location and good experience for him I think.

I’ve been meaning to take him to the car wash with me for a while now, so decided to swing by and do that on my way home from the hospital. Since I couldn’t be in the car and wash it at the same time I’m not quite sure how he did, he was a bit more of a whiner when I got back in and started driving – something he’s been pretty good about lately – so he was likely a little unsure about it all. That or he just wasn’t impressed being left in the car by himself! Tess loves going to the car wash and trying to bite the water as I spray the windows, so the next trip might have to be with her in the car as a “good” role model.

Tomorrow Riggs is booked for his next set of vaccines, so we have a quick visit to the vets. Tomorrow is supposed to be the nicest day of the weekend so I’m hoping to take him to Glenmore dam near Heritage park a little later in the day if he’s feeling ok. I hate wasting a day not doing anything with him, so if he isn’t feeling great maybe we’ll just do a quick visit to minute lube shop to get a few windshield chips repaired…and for him to meet some more men.

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