Monday, January 28, 2013

Krew Of Mutts Parade

Maxie, Pepper and I had a blast at the Krew of Mutts Parade yesterday. This event is put on annually by the local Capital Area Animal Welfare Society, which rescues and raises funds for their low cost/free spay/neuter program.  It was this event 2 years ago which originally prompted me to develop a booth presence for my dog club, LCCOC, so we could let the public know about the dog training opportunities we offer. Here's how it looks so far:

Maxie left and Pepper right, in my arms, our booth behind us.

I had spent the last 4 days painting our LCCOC logo on all 4 sides of our canopy, and was very pleased with how it looked.  The cost of silk-screening would have been prohibitive, not to mention I couldn't find a printer who would do it, so I did it myself for about $5 using 3 coats of fabric paint. We were one of the only booths with an overhead logo, plus we had so many volunteers, we had to set up an additional canopy to shade all their dog crates!

I only brought the two paps, leaving Lucky, Willow and FoohFooh at home. We were gone all day, but Nathan came by and let them out mid-day so that worked out well.

My plan was to have all the volunteers and their dogs walk together in the parade, a sea of blue shirts, with someone pulling my wagon full of beads, throws and literature, while the other volunteers passed out stuff, with Maxie and Pepper riding in the caboose and me close behind them.  I only saw one other Papillon all day, so my two drew lots of attention in their crate, walking around on leash, but especially in the wagon.

But first, Pepper had never ridden in the caboose so I had to do a bit of on-the-spot training.  He looked so adorable misbehaving with his front paws hooked over the edge that numerous passers-by wanted to snap pictures of that, but he quickly learned that he only got treats from Mamma when he sat with both front feet tucked in.  I myself had to resist the urge to reward him for cuteness alone, but the next step would be his jumping out.  Here I am testing his resolve while I reach for more treats.  He is getting much better at impulse control.

Unfortunately, it was unclear when the parade started or where, so we ended up with everyone scattered. Not how I pictured it.  I ended up pulling the wagon alone with my dogs unattended in the back, and no hands for throwing beads or time to pass out brochures. Both sat perfectly throughout the parade, though, demonstrating perfect obedience, and many people made me stop so they could take pictures of the darling pair.  Are they not ADORABLE???? I think Paps look better in pairs.

Pepper left, Maxie right, riding in the caboose.
wearing their Mardi Gras collars and posing for photos.
Only problems I had were the kids demanding I "throw them something" and me with no free hands or time due to the young man behind me who had a large mixed breed shephard dog on a 6 foot leash.  The dog had a long "better to eat you with" snout and kept sticking it in my dogs' faces which of course made me (and them) nervous.  No matter how many times I went back and asked him to keep his dog at a 3 foot distance, he just could not reign his dog in.  No control. No spatial awareness.  Probably no training whatsoever.  If his dog pulled, he moved forward.  He assured me his dog didn't bite, was just being friendly but I didn't care. I eventually managed to put some distance between us, but it was like trying to shake a pesky driver on the highway that insists on riding your bumper whether you speed up or slow down.

That said, nothing bad happened.  In fact, I am amazed every year how hundreds of strange dogs can gather at the event, held on loose leashes by untrained owners, and there aren't many, if any, incidents.

We all came home totally pooped, they conked out, and I began running a fever and coughing my head off.  Today I went to the doctor, got a chest X-ray, and was diagnosed with pheumonia!  No wonder I've been dragging.  Got a shot, antibiotics, and an inhaler and if I don't improve within 48 hours they are putting me in the hospital.

It is also my son's 41st birthday.  My how time flies when you're having fun!

Upwards and onward!

No comments: