I think a shopping experience at Costco on a Saturday challenges many of a guide dog's (and persons) skills. As we walked in, this man was walking towards us and said can I say hi! Steve and I both said, hi to him - hoping he meant us. He was focused on Cricket and bent down and began to pet her and try to get her all excited. Steve said nicely, she's working so please don't pet her. He continued on and we realized our best option was to walk (run) away. Costco is so crowded on Saturdays so Cricket has many opportunities to use her skill of maneuvering around crowds. She knows 'follow' and is able to follow Steve through the store. **This is a command that we must be careful with because the intent is not for a guide dog to simply follow someone. Cricket needs to be listening to me. So, as she is aware she is following Steve may also clue me in on an "L" or a "R" so that I can tell Cricket which way to go. If it is super busy, another option is to drop her harness and I can hold on to the cart. Cricket knows the distinction between when I am holding the harness and not. An important skill for a guide dog is to be able to not only be aware of her own space but my space also. When she is maneuvering, she needs to make sure there is space for both of us. This is challenging when people are coming in at her from many different directions when it is crowded. Then, there is the challenge of all the food that is dropped on the floor. Cricket is trained to be able to walk past something that has dropped on the floor. As you can imagine, if she lunges for that dropped sample of chicken, she steers me off in a different direction. She's not perfect (me neither, of course) but is a good girl and works through much temptation on the floor in a place like Costco. I generally have a few kibble in my pocket so that I can if I am aware, praise her for her willpower! Parking lots can be tricky and often it is best to drop her harness and walk sighted guide with someone. If we are alone or she is guiding, she will walk in a straight line on the edge of the parked cars. This is another time she is on high alert and busy watching for cars that are coming from all directions.