Sunday, April 3, 2016


On the bus, ready to go.
Saturday was Service Animal Training Day sponsored by the Orange County Transportation Authority.  They allow all service animals and their trainers and friends to ride for free on busses to and from Disneyland.   Now, GDA dogs had to be a minimum of 10 months old.  Dylan, just 9 days shy of that cut, was allowed to go.  So off we went with our area leaders Nancy and Brian along with their dog Morgan and a raiser I had not met, Mary and her dog Asia.  Mary and her husband have raised 16 dogs for GDA in their 16 years with this organization, but their claim to fame is bringing on board Nancy and Brian to GDA 13 years ago.  We were somewhat miffed that therapy dogs were included in this exercise.  Therapy dogs, by law, are not allowed to enter places like buses, stores or restaurants, but are allowed in homes, hospitals and schools.  I know this, our Maggie was a therapy dog for 4 years.

We all met at the ARTIC, which is across the way from the Honda Center in Anaheim. ARTIC being an acronym for; Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.  In the old days we would call it a train station.  There with hundreds of dogs of every size shape and breed, we checked in. We then set out in an articulate bus towards Disneyland.  The idea being that we could ride for free, get on and off as many times as we wanted so the dogs would get used to riding public transportation.  The blind depend largely on public transportation to get around.  I thought that's what the plan was, but we road non-stop to the park and walked towards the entrance, through a security check and on towards Downtown Disney.  Being the end of spring break and a Saturday, the place was crowded very early.  Dylan was in a world she had not seen or been a part of before.  She was stressed.  Loud music, legs and feet coming from all sides and too many dogs to smell made for a taxing 30 minutes as we walked along.  Brian sensed this and took over walking Dylan and said it was time to find a quite place to sit and chill.

Brian, chilling with Dylan
We walked a bit further and came upon the Leggo Store and posed for another photo.

Beauty and the Beast and also characters from the play.

Then a place to snack at the New Orleans coffee shop for beignits and some chicory coffee.  

Morgan in the back, Dylan resting on Asia and feet.  
This photo gives you a hint what the dogs got to view all morning. 

Going back was a nightmare, as we had to go through security again and the lines were 100 people deep.  Finally making our way through we decided to skip the on and off portion going back and just get the girls back to the car and home.  So all in all, I learned what Dylan looks like when she is stressed.  What to do in this event and realized that you can over stimulate your dog to the point that it can harm them.  

Besides that, I learned it will be an ARTIC day before we ever take Dylan to Disneyland.

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