Oh, The Places I've Been!
Hope had a big afternoon yesterday. Her aunt and uncle (my sister and brother-in-law) came to town to visit her cousin/my niece. They needed to enlist the help of The Big Truck (aka Gordy) to pick up a new mattress and box spring for cousin Kristin. And FWIW, yes, this 21 year old college-grad does greet Hope (or any of my dogs) by saying “Awww, hello Cousin”.
At any rate, as is the norm in my family, the pick-up/drop off turned into an adventure, so Hope was all over town. By the time I met my family at the Original Mattress Company on the University side of town, my sister had learned that the salesman had rescued a pitbull who he sadly had to re-home, and she had told him all about about Gunny. As I hopped out of the truck, my brother-in-law was waving at me and calling out “He says the dog can come IN THE STORE! Grab the dog!” in an excited voice. My niece and I laughed about how excited her parents were about “hitting the town” with a dog in tow, and how much of a kick they got out of being able to go into establishments with your dog.
After a truck ride across town, we arrived at my niece's apartment in Plaza Midwood. Hope got to meet her Second Cousins, the ferrets. They stayed locked securely in their cage, as Miss Thing has a very high prey drive and the funny, curious little guys wouldn't have stood a chance. Truth be told, at first Hope was pretty freaked out by the ferrets, but she quickly started in with her “nose bumping” of the cage...that can be either her way of trying to get a point across or in this case, her way of trying to get into something to do bad things.
Once the bed was set up, we headed off to grab some dinner. After much discussion and a little driving around, we decided to do the “to go” thing so that Hope could wander freely at home while we ate. She was uncharacteristicly nervous all afternoon, pretty much over-stimulated I'd guess. We decided on The Penguin so my brother-in-law could experience a historical establishment (and fried pickles) and of course at 6:30 on a Saturday, it was jam-packed. Even standing outside reviewing the to-go menu, Hope was very nervous about all the noise and crowds. One of the servers was outside on break and came over to see her. I told him that Hope was having a really rough afternoon, and I was surprised at how nervous she was being, that it wasn't like her at all. He approached her gently, and seemed really sad that she was so scared.
While my sister and niece ordered, my brother-in-law and walked next door to some closed shops and just sat on their porch to give Hope some quiet time. It helped, but she was still on edge. After a few minutes, the same server from The Penguin walked up and asked “Would puppy eat a hamburger?” and handed me a freshly grilled chunk of hamburger meat in a paper to go box. How sweet was that? It took her a minute to start eating, partly because it was HOT of the grill, partly because she was nervous. After I broke it up to cool it off, and gave her a few nibbles by hand, she gobbled it down. I felt so badly that she didn't dive right in...the look on this poor man's face was total worry that even the hamburger wasn't cheering her up. Once he saw her take her first few bite, he gave a satisfied nod, turned on his heel and headed back to work. The thing that makes this even better in my book is that if lots of people saw this guy on a dark street, they'd be worried, maybe even scared...big guy, shaved head, covered in tattoos...but how wrong they'd be. Talk about a parallel between him and the Bullies that people fear. It's not about the packaging people, it's about the inside. Once again, my brother in law got such a kick out of the things that happen when you take your dog out to run your weekend errands.
Back at Kristin's apartment, we put the ferrets in a bedroom and gave Hope some freedom while we ate dinner. I must admit, us sitting on the floor and eating from the coffee table was awfully tempting to her, so I put her out on the balcony. She stared at us intently, doing her best to make us feel bad for her (didn't work) and for the millionth time that day, my brother in law commented on “what a good dog” she is. The timing of this cracked me up, as she was actually being a bad beggar, but he defended her saying “she's not whining or barking or scratching the door...she's being good.” When she went from standing and staring, to sitting and staring, to laying down and staring, he'd gush all over her wonderfulness again. It was pretty hysterical.
After dinner, we went for a walk through some beautiful neighborhoods, encountered lots of walkers and bikers, and a few dogs. Hope was as polite as she could be to her fellow citizens, and even kept it together when dogs in electric fences came charging their property lines with their fur up. She had a good nap on her way home, and boy were her brothers jealous when they got a whiff of all the places she'd been!
Posted by fillows4
at 8:47 AM EDT