Tuesday morning Aries and I stepped out for our first trip to the synagogue. My girlfriend picked us up at 10 am and we drove to TBS. She informed office staff what we were doing, then the fun began.
Before we started, Aries donned her gentle leader , which always calms her down a bit and allows me more control. Then Aeries and I found the stairs, ascended and went inside as S held the door open.
With her assistance, we heeled lacrosse the foyer to the sanctuary door where I heaped on the praise for Aries. Then we heeled back to the door out and praised.
Next Aries and I crossed the foyer to the sanctuary solo as S spotted us. Perfecto!
Back to the door out. Perfecto.
We did this a couple of times and it was obvious how proud Aries was of doing good work. S told me later that at first Aries was looking all around, but then got into the groove and just got down to business.
After repeating the first phase, we ventured into the sanctuary and to my seat in the second row. This we did with my friend simply coaching us, and after a time or two Aries moved to the next phase, the bima.
The bima is the platform at the front of the sanctuary where the Ark containing the Torah scrolls is the central focus. There, too, stand the two tables from which reading takes place. One approaches by way of two steps, and the handrail is centrally situated. This handrail was my target.
We practice going up and coming back to my seat to settle calmly, and Aries did a pretty good job. Then we practiced exiting the sanctuary and heading for the door outside. Great work all around.
Finally, the social hall. The area all the way across the foyer from the sanctuary, where folks gather for food after services, and for meetings and other events. Aries not only managed to take me from the sanctuary to the social hall, but to a table and chair. Talk about a proud puppy!
I was pretty pleased myself!!
We have plans to return later this week for a review. This time we’ll see how Aries does without the gentle leader.