Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pet Expo Day 1

Today was a very long day! But lots of fun.

It was day 1 of Pet Expo (see yesterday's blog post) and the boys and I had a couple of shifts at various booths throughout the day. In the morning we were at the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog booth. The boys had a great time being greeter dogs, checking everyone out and gathering all the pets and hugs.

They both behaved very well and were great examples of therapy dogs. Each of the boys had a particularly shining moment during the shift. Gio's was about part way through our shift when a small girl, maybe 2 years old, ran up to him at full 2-year-old-speed, grabbed his muzzle with both hands and started shaking his head up and down. What a good boy, he just stood there and let her man-handle ... err ... child-handle? ... him. He is so endlessly tolerant, it's almost pathetic! Romeo had his big moment near the end of our shift. He was chilling out beside the booth when a pair of children approached him. One started petting his head very politely, but the other small boy decided that he really wanted to rub Romeo's belly. So he proceeded to try and flip Romeo over to get to his belly. I would have expected Romeo to jump up and try to get away from the boy, but he just resolutely lay there, refusing to be rolled over, but still being very calm and polite about it all. Of course, I'm much less polite than Romeo is, so I told the boy to bugger off and not to treat dogs like that.

After our SJA shift, we went and practiced some Rally-O in the practice course that they had set up. Since Rally-O isn't really a spectator sport, they didn't give it a designated demo time, but they did rope off a corner in the back and allowed us to set up a Novice course for whoever wanted to give it a go. There were enough Rally-O dogs present that we had a pretty good flow of Rally-O demos going most of the afternoon.

Then it was on to the Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club booth for our second shift of the day. This was a fun shift as many of the boys' "friends" were around so they got lots of socializing in.

Gio and Romeo with Tetley, their English Cocker Spaniel buddy.

Part of the Cairn Terrier crew. Piper, Zephyr and Rascal. Then Rascal again, and Duncan.

The Miniature Poodle twins, Katie and Gina.

Duncan took a shining to a small girl and decided to entertain her with his gopher impression.

By this point of the day, the boys were quite tired. They spend a while laying behind the tables and staying out of the crowds.

I put the boys away in their kennel for a while to allow them to rest. Previously at an obedience trial, Gio had scratched a hole in the front of their soft-sided crate in attempts to get me to work with him instead of with Romeo. Romeo quite likes this hole, and finds it nicely convenient allowing him to rest in his crate while still watching what is going on around him.

At the end of the evening, the boys participated in the parade of breeds. They gather a couple dogs from all the different breeds that they can find at the Pet Expo, and parade them around the demo ring one at a time as the announcer talks a bit about what the breed is like. It's lots of fun, and afterward the crowd is encouraged to come forward and meet all the dogs. So yet more pets and cuddles, and lots of comments on how handsome the boys are. It's good for the ego, and I'm sure the dogs enjoy it as well.

Back tomorrow for some more Pet Expo fun. It's a shorter day tomorrow, only lasting until 5pm. So that should be much nicer, and still allow us time to get our stuff together for agility practice tomorrow evening.

Another fun moment from today, I got to pick up the prints of the Halloween pictures that were taken last weekend at the agility club. I've already posted the individual pics of the boys because they were posted online. But I also had a double photo taken that wasn't posted online. Please excuse the quality, I had to take a digital photo of the print in order to get it up here.

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