Sparkle goes apple pickin'

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Sparkle inspects the fruits of our labor. Unlike when I walked her mom, Velma, past a side of beef on a barbecue spit, Sparkle wasn't attracted in the least to the apples. Maybe if I threw them one by one for her to fetch...

Nothing says autumn like a fresh, crisp apple so we headed to Hill Creek Farms, a beautiful orchard in Mullica Hill, for an afternoon of picking. It also turned out to be the orchard's Family Fun Day, so the crowd was bigger than we expected and Sparkle got plenty of unexpected new exposures. There was a busy Moon Bounce, as well as pony rides and other child-friendly attractions.

It was a little too hot for October, and Sparkle was distracted by the crowd at first, trying to go to people who called to her or otherwise caught her eye. This time, though, she was wearing the green vest, so I heard some people say "service dog" as they passed, meaning they knew not to approach her.  It's OK to greet a Seeing Eye puppy in public, but best to ask permission first. A guide dog in harness, of course, should be left completely alone.

We all got worn out after a while, and Sparkle was obviously in need of water, so I took her back to the minivan and filled her bowl from a bottle I'd brought along, while Cathy paid for the apples we'd picked.