One of the challenges of living with Social Phobia and Agoraphobia is that getting out of the house becomes a battle with your mind. Part of you will be convinced that you shouldn’t go out, there are too many possibilities for getting trapped, having to interact with people, and other things of that ilk.

Part of my fight with these phobias is forcing myself out of the door, to get out and about at least once a day. Living smack in the center of a huge, bustling city isn’t much help, but it gives me a good mental work out. I have to get out to walk dogs at least once a day, but that’s my job, I like to get out on errands, it gives me a job to do, a way to push my own limits, and training opportunities with Holly.

Friday was one of those days where Holly and I both get quite a workout.

We have a local Farmer’s Market, which has been recommended to me as a great training opportunity. Until yesterday I hadn’t made it up there. At last we made the pilgramige.

In front of the greenery at the entrance to the market.

Depite the swarms of children, dogs, and food on tables (which are, of course, right at nose level for the Princess) she did amazingly well. She even ignored a little boy who came up and asked me why she was wearing her vest, which he poked for good measure.

I, on the other hand did not do as well as my darling dog. The Market was a little too much, too many people, no easy way out. I had several panic-induces asthma attacks, as well as dizzy spells. Holly was a good Service hound though and did her job!

On the way home we stopped by the local small grocery store. Holly did flawlessly there, no sniffing or pulling, and great focus.

Hanging onto her leash for me while I packed up the goods and snapped a picture.

Lastly we stopped by the nearest local pet boutique to grab Holly a cookie.

The pet store owners leave free treat samples in the bucket. Holls was getting irritated, she wanted her treats, and was tired of holding her leash.

Our mission accomplished, the Pretty Princess and I headed home. Where she enjoyed her hard-earned dinner of beef trim…

Dinner at last!

Which she gorged on, then puked up, and then ate again. *sigh* But such is life with dogs, and as long as my mom never finds out all will be well.

Hope you guys are keeping busy and enjoying a break from the heat!

Kat & Holly