Touring Nashville with a Service Dog Puppy in Training
As mentioned in the previous post, we recently traveled to Nashville, TN with JoJo, the service dog puppy in training. We want to socialize JoJo as much as possible, and this includes introducing new environments. Nashville is a fun city with plenty of opportunities for new experiences.
We took her to the Grand Ole Opry because......well......it is the Opry, and she likes good music. One of JoJo's favorite songs is Dolly Parton's Jolene. I kid you not, she loves Dolly. The picture right is JoJo outside the Opry theater. We also visited the Opryland Hotel. The hotel was busy, so she was around a lot of people. When we take her in public, which is frequently, people are curious and often stop us to talk. This was no exception. It was a learning experience because needed to settle and wait patiently.
The next day, we went to the Capitol. Just getting up to the Capitol took some time because of all the stairs. We worked on walking up the stairs at a nice, even pace. Learning to calmly walk stairs is so important because she may need to go up and down with her partner without running or jumping. The picture to the right is outside the Capitol building with 3 flights of stairs to go. Entering any building, I always speak to someone to let them know that I have a service dog puppy in training, and then ask if they are okay with her being inside. Ninety nine out of 100 welcome us. Capitol Police and staff were great. We were the only two at the entrance so we turned it into another great learning experience. It was JoJo's first time through a metal detector. She went through by herself at first. I then took her through at my side. We went through a few more times, and once purposely set off the detector. She was not fazed by the buzz. We learned a little history while in the building too. One tidbit, businessman Samuel Morgan was charged with planning the Capital, and he was instrumental in hiring architect William Strickland. Both men are buried in crypts in the Capitol walls. The interesting part of the story, Strickland became ill before the Capitol's completion and asked to be buried inside upon his death. His wish was granted. But, during construction, the relationship between Strickland and Morgan soured. When Morgan learned that Strickland would be buried in the Capitol, he made sure the same would happen to him so as to have the last word. As our tour continued, we went inside the State House of Representatives (picture to the right, third down). They were not in session at the time so we enjoyed the run of the place. We then went inside the Tennessee Supreme Court (pictured right, fourth down). Unfortunately, we were not able to meet any of the 5 justices, but it was still interesting. JoJo walked on different surfaces including stone, tile, and marble. The building has cavernous, high ceilings that echo. She handled the sounds and smells without issue.
Our hotel was great and the staff was tremendous. Admittedly, the hotel was my biggest worry. While JoJo is not terribly vocal, I was concerned that she might bark at hearing a door open/close, a person walking by the door, or the smell of room service. My fears were unfounded. Never a peep. JoJo rode the elevators without issue and learned to walk through the revolving door. She is pictured to the right (fifth picture down) inside the room.
Being away from home meant eating out every meal. JoJo became a pro. She learned to "settle" or lay down below the table and not eat anything on the floor (picture right, sixth down). This was great practice and we were very proud of her.
Lastly, a trip to Nashville is not complete without a visit to Broadway to listen to a little honky tonk. We went inside a few places. JoJo was a hit at Robert's where one of the singers serenaded her. The picture lower right (image 7) is JoJo listening to some really good country music. Unfortunately, we could not stay long but it was worth every minute.