Conquering Wal Mart

Today was a huge accomplishment. The last time I was in WalMart was over four months ago and a friend had to stay next to me at all times. Today, Riley and I conquered WalMart. His trainer was present, observing and offering guidance. However, she wasn’t next to me constantly, Riley stepped in several times, both blocking and nudging and licking, when I was stressed , experiencing sensory overload ,or off balance. I didn’t require any medication during or after the trip. After I got home, I still needed a two hour nap.

He also correctly placed behind me and to the side when we were in a line. When people approached from behind me, I was aware they were there. They didn’t just suddenly come out of nowhere, right on top of me, because I couldn’t see them because of the peripheral vision loss. I didn’t startle or get anxious.

Notice in the picture how he is looking up at me. He is checking in to see how I was doing. I was fairly anxious at the time. He was considering what, if anything, I needed him to do.

He is a wonderful dog and even in our training sessions, he is making an incredible difference in my life.

I’m hopeful that once we fully partner, not only will I handle store s easier but perhaps I can also use public transportation successfully.

I still required a long nap after our training session. But, it wasn’t like Mt. Everest today. It was more like running a marathon. It’s hard but easier.

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2 responses to “Conquering Wal Mart

  1. Well done! I can finally make it through the grocery store without crying, remembering why I am there or what I need…that’s another story, even with a list, not being able to filter, doesn’t help.


    • The WalMart trip was a training session. We stayed on the “quiet side” of the store, the non- food side. I needed packing tape, so picked some up.

      Grocery shopping, I go to one store-Safeway. I knew it from before the injury and it is comfortable. My iPad shopping list is the only way I can shop successfully.

      I know what you mean. I have trouble filtering sensory input. Fortunately, ear plugs, sun glasses, and on a bad day, a hat really help.

      A list isn’t helping? Can you shop with a friend? I still do that often if it’s a store I don’t know or if I’m having a hard day.


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