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Over the weekend, my mom and I went shopping at the mall. And my dad, too! It was a nice afternoon outing.

For a long time after being partnered with my mom, you may remember that we had only been doing essential shopping due to the Covid restrictions. And only a couple of pleasure trips to the bookstore.

But as things have eased up we have been out more. Some dining with friends and some non-essential shopping. Which we both have enjoyed. 

The mall we visited this weekend is about 40 minutes from home. And much bigger than our small local mall. It was my first time here. 

But not for my mom. Although it has been over two years since she was last there due to Covid. She told me it was busier than usual. Along with quite a few changes to the stores that used to be there.

I met a new friend at the mall. But he wasn’t very friendly!

When we got there we shopped for a little while. There are a great number of stores in the mall. But we only went in a few. We spent most of our time in Best Buy. It is one of my mom’s favorites. Especially since it is Eric’s store.

Some stores have narrow aisles. And merchandise sticking out. But my mom is good at maneuvering her wheelchair. So we navigated the stores with ease. 

I stay close to her chair as we move through the aisles. Going ahead or behind her as needed. I lay quietly out of the way while she looked at things. And I’m always ready to pick up anything she might drop!

After shopping, we met my brother, Eric, for lunch. I was so happy to see him. His job recently transferred him to Maine. So he will be much closer. And I will see him more often!

Lunchtime nap!

During lunch, I was napping quietly beside my mom’s chair. Much to my surprise, I was awoken by a dog barking. A dog that was at a nearby table. It didn’t appear to be a service dog. And when he saw me he barked. But I just glanced toward him. And laid my head back down.

I wondered why he was there. But my mom and I don’t know the rules of the mall. So it might have been okay. Since some malls allow pet dogs.

Many places of business are now letting dog owners bring their pet dogs shopping with them. But this can be dangerous for working dogs like me. Since these dogs aren’t always under good control. And sometimes they don’t like other dogs. 

My mom knows of a few service dogs that have been attacked by misbehaving dogs. And some have even had to retire early due to the attack.

Fortunately, the dog we saw didn’t bother me. When we later passed by each other I ignored him and looked at my mom. And his owner was respectful and moved away.

Paying close attention to my mom!

In the mall, there is music playing, kids running, food on the floor, and congested areas of gathered people. I took it all in stride. And ignored all of the distractions. 

A mall offers a variety of training opportunities for me. I practiced moving to the front of my mom’s chair so I wouldn’t be in the way as people walked by. I picked up a few items my mom dropped. We maneuvered in tight spaces so I could practice keeping my body close to the wheelchair. I even practiced a new task that I will share with you soon!

It was great to be out with my mom. I loved the training we did. And it was extra special to see Eric. I am looking forward to going again. We had a fun day!