Puppy Riley visited with Tony Stewart Foundation staff on Tuesday of last week during an impromptu lunch and visit to a local pet supply store.
She was on her best behavior and it's a good thing! The manager at our lunch location needed a little convincing that she was a service dog in training given her age and small size. But Riley stood up to this test and conducted herself just like a proper worker dog would. Over the next 3 hours, Riley did not utter one inappropriate bark and kept her bladder manners in mind. As for her loose-leash walking training, she was a tad challenging, but then again she's only 3 months old!
Inside the pet supply store, she made friends with an over-anxious Pugle dog, and while outside the store she befriended a very sweet Terrier.
The trip concluded with a visit to the Tony Stewart racing office where Riley made a beeline for Tony's mom's office! Inside Pam's office were a woman and her little daughter who were visiting. Riley immediately snatched up one of the child's Beenie-Babies for herself (which she had to give back). But, how wonderful to watch Riley interact with this young child who might have been a year and a month or two old. Riley was calm, but at the same time interested in the child. Calm but interested are good traits for a service dog in training, especially since Riley's future may involve assisting a child managing a disability!
After nearly 3 full hours of socializing, Riley began her car trip back to the ICAN office. Within seconds of leaving the race store, she was fast asleep.