We are going for a record, although I’m not counting; since we are over three days in a row—that’s a record. Puppy had another full day of good behaviors. Woohoo! We were both excited about the progress. Then as easily as we were cheering and giving high-fives, the mood was taken from us after we made a trip to the convenient store on the way home. What was supposed to be a quick stop of in-and-out became a little stressful for Puppy.
In the last 3 to 4 months, I have been coaching Puppy as we make frequent visits to the convenient store. Mostly our purchases have been a loaf of bread, gallon of milk, soda, gum, etc., a small or single item at a time. I give him money in advance before exiting the truck. He may or may not place it in his wallet (his prized possession). Sometimes if it is an item he wants, he might use his own money earned from doing his chores. I am also approaching the proper time to use a wallet and when it’s the best time to take it out of his pocket.
Sometimes I will go inside the store with him, but he likes to feel like a big boy and does ask me to wait in the truck on occasion. I am teaching him to read the register for the dollars. He is still confused with the different coins. So if the register were to read $3.60, or has anything with numbers on the right side of the dot, then to hand over the number of dollars and one more extra dollar to the clerk.
Yesterday during our stop, I gave him $5.00 and asked him to buy a 12-pak of sodas. I forgot that the price has gone up since I usually buy 3 packs for $12.00; I didn’t do the math in my head before sending him off and single 12-paks are $4.99 plus tax. The cost was $5.40 and since he had a $5 bill, he assumed I wouldn’t give him less than necessary. The clerk then asked him for the 40 cents and he doesn’t understand, but came to ask me for them. I collected the change and handed it to him. He went back into the store and then came out again, empty handed and I saw and anxiety attack coming on. I quickly got off the truck and went inside. Puppy had gone in with the 40 cents, but had kept the $5.00 in his pocket and didn’t know what the clerk was asking. I held out my hand to him and he gave me the $5.00 which I handed to the clerk. Our purchase was made. We returned to the truck together.
He was beginning to apologize. I stopped him and in a soft voice explained he did nothing wrong. But my dear Puppy told me it was his fault because he couldn’t see the register, it was too far. It took the entire ride home to explain and calm him. We got home and high-fives were started up again with hugs and kisses. He was on familiar ground, home; safe and sound.