Trooper passed another test today: Enduring a two-and-a-half-hour funeral and reception without the slightest deviation from approved service-dog routine.
It was a memorial for Eric Lund, an old Chicago Daily News colleague, who last month had died at 92 years of age, and it was held in the cavernous St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, complete with choir and organ.
Troop has been very good in restaurants, lying quietly at our feet while we dine, as Federal law says a well-behaved service dog must. But today brought his first visit to a church.
We were worried that when the big old organ started up and gathered momentum, Trooper would join in, making an inappropriate if joyful noise unto the Lord. Nope. He just lay quietly, although now and then he did cock his head quizzically.
All the way through the hymns, readings and interminable homily he stirred but a few times, once to be petted and twice to stretch his legs. It’s probably cold and lonely on the floor between the pews, but he lay on his side and slept.
At the reception he sat obediently by a wall for the most part, although I did have to remind him now and then with a quick “sit!” that he was on his best behavior.
We managed to get out of there without anyone stepping on him. He is a small black dog, those church floors are dark gray, and the crowd was goodly as well as godly.