Coltrain, who or what is that? Well, thats a dog that I first met at my apartment complex when he was a tiny puppy and now he is a little under Makiko’s size. His owner? Well, he is a nice enough guy but he just thinks its absolutely HILARIOUS when his dog runs up and bombards us. I know he won’t attack us but it’s still very annoying because we have to stop in our paths until this dog goes away. And the owner doesn’t seem to care. I have tried several tactics. On one encounter I told him in a stern voice that she was a guide dog and it was interfering with her guiding me, which was not okay. That didn’t seem to get through. The next time I tried a more nice approach and said, “Please don’t let Coltrain come up to us. It really distracts Makiko.” That didn’t work. Today I said, “Can you please remove her from us?” I forgot it was a boy because I’ve been away for awhile. He replied, “Her? It’s a he. And yeah I cannnn.” But then proceeded to do nothing. I said, “I really need you to remove your dog,” and he did. Then two seconds later, not kidding, he let the dog run after us again. I think it’s partially that the owner isn’t taking us serious and partially that the puppy is just very playful and I don’t think he had his leash out because the dog stays pretty close to him. However, it was very hard to manage, especially since Makiko and I are working on dog distractions anyway, that didn’t help us any. Ugh. SOO, I’m brainstorming what our next approach is going to be because I know it’s going to happen again. We have had a few other dogs approach us at the complex; however, nothing this persistent. For example, tonight this new black dog approached us but I hadn’t ever seen the dog before and Makiko wasn’t in harness. I told the dog’s owner that I really didn’t want my dog interacting with other dogs right now, and he understood. The big huge dog that we had a lot of problems with and almost attacked us has disappeared. I haven’t seen the owner nor the dog so I’m not sure what happened with that after I reported it to the apartment complex staff. When I walk outside to relieve Makiko I don’t have to use the harness because I know the path really well, and so it’s hard for others to know that she is a guide dog and not to have their dogs approach us without asking, and even if she did have the harness that hasn’t seemed to help much. It’s a bit frustrating.
Other than that living in an apartment with Makiko has worked really well. We got a new roommate recently and luckily she loves dogs. Makiko stays with me most of the time but she’ll occasionally go to where my roommate is sitting or standing and rub up against her a little bit. I try to give Makiko exercise when we go home to Dallas and whenever else possible, other than the normal exercise she gets while working with me and my busy schedule. She has plenty of toys to play with and the pile keeps growing. We have a nice patio that we sit on to groom her and brush her teeth. It’s all working out really well.
If you all have any ideas about the Coltrain issue, please feel free to share.