Sunday, March 7, 2010

Note to self:

Some things to remember about this past weekend

1. First off, let me just say in my defense: it is impossible to pass a dog with a wig in your hand and NOT try the wig on the dog. If one should decide to photograph the dog however, it is imperative that laughter be kept to a minimum. Trust me, there will be plenty of time to laugh later. (same goes for people, btw)

2. One of Stella's best things is walking through a crowd. The Lawn and Garden Show was at the fairgrounds last weekend so we went over and followed the parade of visitors through the parking lots for fun. We also navigated the long lines of people who were waiting to buy tickets. She did great as always and we celebrated our success by running like mad women back behind the race track.

3. On sunny Saturdays, apparently it's fun to go over to (local coffee house) Fido where you can sit outside with your pup and enjoy a coffee. All the tables were taken so we didn't sit but according to the body language of one guy, we'll call him Stinkeye, Pit bull-type dogs (I'm being funny there, I love that expression, what is a "pit bull-type" dog?) may not be all that welcome anyway, so we kept moving. Stella did a little low key rubber-necking and I didn't mind. We probably walked a mile through Hillsboro Village, well past Vanderbilt and back again.

4. Then on to school where she had words with a shepherd mix who got in her personal space. Both dogs and owners recovered nicely.

5. Stella has almost no separation issues. At class we're up to two minutes. Out in the world, we're up to about fifteen minutes. I have more anxiety than she does when we're apart.

6. Beware of strange dogs galloping after you on suburban streets. Later, we went for a walk around the block and a good sized (maybe 75lb.) dog came running out from between two houses. It climbed all over Stella and then went from being over-excited to aggressive in the blink of an eye. It tried to bite her twice. I stepped between them before Stella could react and made the dog's options very clear. It went trotting off. Five houses down, a beautiful little French Bulldog came blasting out of yet another yard. It didn't try to start a fight though (thank God) and its owner retrieved it immediately.

7. If I haven't said it lately, Latina moms are way cool. We got out of the car at the ball park on Sunday and from a distance I noticed a Mexican family moving in our direction. There were two women and five little children of various ages. I moved Stella aside and put her into a sit. I was surprised to see that they didn't plan to go around us, they planned to stop and pet Stella. Naturally, they had a two year old with them who was terrified of dogs and they hoped to use Stella in the same way I hoped to use their other kids. As luck would have it, I had a pocketful of liver treats so it was win-win. We hung out with them for fifteen or twenty minutes and Stella ended up charming the frightened kid and getting more than one belly rub out of the deal. She walked away a different dog. I'm not saying it was permanent but she had a sweet look in her eye that told me she felt really good about it all. We celebrated with a swim in the creek.

Speaking of wigs...

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