Yesterday, after Danny, Juno and I went to another Giants game, we decided to make a day of it in the city. It was great fun, and I basically could not have done it without Juno.
A characteristic of fibromyalgia is a lack of energy—it's commonly associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. So entire days of stuff just don't usually happen. I paid for it a bit today, anyway (crashed after lunch, didn't wake up for about three hours), but it's Sunday, and I could do it.
So our first order of business after the game—where Juno again was a pro, didn't even eat one peanut shell—was to get a victory donut across the street, since the Giants won. So delicious. Then we made the trek back to the car. Along the way, Juno and I ran into a Random Drunk Guy, as is wont to happen after a Giants win, who got right in front of her and was going to pet her, with a lit cigarette in his hand. As you can imagine, we both went into major avoidance mode!
We drove to Pier 39, and walked all the way to the back to put in our name at Bubba Gump's. Then we went to this awesome pet accessories store, Le Beastro, the only one I've found that sells multiple tchotchkes with natural-eared Dobermans on them. I ended up getting some notecards this time, but I definitely will be back! I need more! Had a lovely discussion with the cashier as well, about how the U.S. is one of the only first-world countries where people are still allowed/encouraged to chop off their dogs' ears.
Dinner at Bubba Gump's was awesome. The line to be seated was in a narrow sort of corridor, and Juno blocked pretty perfectly while we were waiting. Then at the booth, which was raised about four inches or so from the floor, she got to curl up in the most adorable ball just at the edge. She could people-watch happily, with her feet and tail in safety. Plus Danny and I had room for our feet, woohoo!
Juno's big moment came after dinner, when we decided to walk over to Ghirardelli. Boy, did I need the pulling then. My back was starting to complain (it turned into full blown hatred after I leaned down suddenly to pull Juno back bodily as a passing dog lunged toward her), and I was pretty tired. I compare walking with Juno, when she's pulling nicely, to walking on one of those airport walkways. You're putting in the same effort (or less) as you usually do, but you're getting a lot more out of it. With her I can walk a lot faster, and with less effort, than I do without her, and it helps a ton.
We had about a twenty-minute walk each way along rather crowded sidewalks, which several times included uncontrolled dogs. (My idea of an uncontrolled dog: Dog dragging owner, on flat collar or worse yet, harness, by the leash.) I am vigilant and largely suspicious of dogs/owners I don't know, especially when the dog seems to have the upper paw. We tried to give them as large a berth as possible.
Juno was amazing, skillfully weaving through crowds and ignoring all distractions. Once we passed a crowd of girls, who Juno did not even look at, and you could tell where we were because each one in turn shrieked, “JESUS!” as we passed. Sometimes you wonder if people have ever seen a dog before.
We walked through Fisherman's Wharf, down several “hip” blocks that were just crawling with people, and finally made it up a bit of a hill to Ghirardelli. Juno once again smoothly worked the crowd, blocking for me in line, then hiding nicely under the table while we shared our sundae. And then she worked back through the crowds to get me back to the car.
Danny commented on the way home that I will be a very lucky person if Kaline ends up being as close to as good a service dog as Juno.
That I will.