Emmet Story #7: Emmet Eats an Apple

Emmet Practices Walking with a Wheelchair
As part of Emmet’s Service dog training, we would occassionally take him to public places to practice. One Saturday afternoon, we found ourselves at the mall. We practiced walking in and out of stores and practiced positioning skills in and among the displays, racks, and shelves in stores. Emmet loved being in public and would happily wag his tail as we practiced all of his skills.

As our time at the mall came to a close, we stopped in a store that was filled with all kinds of knick knacks. The aisles were narrow and the store was crowded. I started looking around the store with Emmet in a heel position. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the woman slightly off to my left was pushing a stroller with a small child in it and the child was happily eating an apple. I didn’t notice right away that Emmet had also noticed this little girl. He loved kids. This girl was even more interesting to him because she was eating an apple, which was one of his favorite treats. Before it even registered in my brain about what would happen next, the little girl held out her arm as if to point at Emmet and said quietly, “Hi Doggie!” Unfortunately, the hand she held out to point at Emmet with was also the hand in which she was holding the apple. Emmet assumed since she was reaching out towards him with an apple in her hand that what she meant to do was to hand him the apple. Before I could stop him, he reached out and gingerly took the apple from her hand and began chewing it hungrily.

It was at this point I panicked a bit. Emmet shouldn’t have taken the apple, but he did. It was too late to give it back to the little girl. I was mortified that he had done that before I could stop him. After quickly calculating the choices I had before me of what to do next, I decided it was best to simply quietly turn and leave the store. I almost made it out before the little girl decided to react. Just as I was walking out of the store I heard the girl shout at the top of her lungs, “Mommy! That dog stole my apple!” I disappeared around the corner just as I heard her mom say, “What dog honey?”

Whew! Just missed getting caught being stupid. I guess the right thing to have done would have been to apologize to the little girl — but in hindsight, she did hold out her apple……


Emmet had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in July of 2008. He died on September 27, 2008 of an unrelated condition called GDV, more commonly known as bloat. He was 10 years old. For a photo tribute of his life, click here.

Tags: , ,