This morning Trooper didn’t feel like working his sounds. Maybe he had a bug. More likely he was just weary from all the stress of adjusting to a new home and a new human.
Let’s forget the sound tasks, said Laura, Trooper's Dogs for the Deaf trainer, and just get on with the rest of the day.
Which was a milestone: Trooper’s first foray into the big city of Chicago. We took the 10:57 a.m. Metra commuter train from Evanston Central Street into Ogilvie Transportation Center, had lunch at the Corner Bakery, and then caught the 12:35 back to Evanston.
Trooper lived up to his name. Not knowing whether he would willingly board the great iron beast, I carried him up the vestibule steps into the car. As soon as the train started up, he began quivering from the unaccustomed noise and motion, and at Laura's suggestion I put him on my lap. Within ten minutes he had settled down, but I cradled him all the way in nonetheless.
|Waiting on a train.|
|Calming the new rider with Laura.|
At Ogilvie we waited until the car emptied, and I put Trooper on the floor. With utter aplomb he trotted down the aisle and off the steps onto the platform.
At the concourse we met the first ever public objection to my little service dog’s presence: a snarling Belgian Malinois on the arm of a burly Chicago cop on security duty, who was nearly pulled over when his animal partner lunged, teeth flashing, at my little dog. Trooper’s a terrier, I wanted to say, not a terrorist. We did not hang around for apologies but headed right into the station.
At lunch in the Corner Bakery we sat happily unremarked and unnoticed.
On the way back Trooper trotted down the platform and onto the train easily, and lay down at my feet for the entire ride, the image of a veteran commuter bound for home. All he needed to complete the picture was a newspaper and a cocktail in a brown paper bag.
Or an iPhone, like everyone else these days.
|Boarding at Ogilvie Transportation Center.|
|Commuters on the 12:35.|