I don't have any pictures (can you say "bad trainer?!"), but Ike made his public debut today at The Kitchen Studio's tweetup. (Wondering what a tweetup is? Hang on, there's a definition coming in just a minute...) For those initial public outings, where I'm getting a handle on how Ike will behave in public, it's important that those outings be something I can leave if necessary. Ike's debut would never be at a doctor appointment, the Harry Potter premier, or an important business meeting. The tweetup did feature fresh, warm homemade chocolate donuts though, so I'm not exactly sure I would have been able to leave after all...
In any event, Ike's debut was disaster-free. No messes on the floor, no jumping on people, no thieving of donuts. He met lots of nice, new people (some kids, too!), got to experience a terra cotta floor, lots of noise, and a whole lot of just standing around. If you remember, Talos was not good at just hanging out! Ike figured out that nothing exciting was happening (read: no training was going on), so he promptly laid in the middle of the floor and took a little nap. Perfect service dog behavior -- sleep until you're needed!
We'll be out a lot more now that we've got our first notch in our belt. Feel free to stop and say hi to us if you see us on the streets (and in the stores) of Frederick and Mt. Airy!
Now, to the tweetup. A tweetup is a meet-up (get it: tweetup = meet up) of people who are on Twitter. Twitter is an online social networking tool, so most of us know each other only through Twitter, not in real life (IRL). I'm @smartdogu on Twitter and I'm a pretty active participant (follow me, I tweet lots of good dog training info). It's always fun to get together and talk face-to-face to all my Twitter friends and to get out of the office (which I share with four dogs, no people) and have human conversations. I have conversations with the dogs, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have a two-way conversation, where my questions and comments get real, live feedback!
A tweetup is a perfect place to take Ike because it's really casual and it's a come-and-go type of event. If Ike would have turned into Cujo, it would have been very easy for me to leave and not disrupt anything. Plus the tweetup host made homemade donuts. With chocolate. Oh. My. God. Thanks @frederickfoodie!