Getting a few of my foster dogs home for the holidays would certainly mean a more peaceful holiday for me--as I write, the kids are delightedly humping one another on the couch next to me--so I resolved to go.
Narda, a delightful pit bull owner and lover who volunteers with Jasmine's House, volunteered to bring Sandy to the event and be there with her the whole time.
Which meant that I wouldn't be completely off my rocker for thinking I could also bring Fozzie. So off we went to the adoption event.
Fortunately, both dogs love car rides as long as they can stick their heads out the window.
The weather was gorgeous, the event was well-attended, and once I found Narda and could unload one of my charging charges, it was a wonderful day.
Sandy met scads of dogs and people, each one of which she had to lick, paw, touch, kiss, and play with.
Such a good little girl. I had no worries about leaving her in the care of strangers for the day, or about how she'd behave with kids, adults, other dogs, loud noises, or whatever she might encounter.
Fozzie...well, Fozzie I wanted to stick with myself. A large event with dogs of all sizes coming at him from all directions is not exactly a recipe for a calm Fozzie, and a really good dog trainer would not have exposed him to a situation that would push all his buttons at once.
Some dog trainers, including some who have TV shows of their own, would say that this is the way to acclimatize a dog to things and get calmer behaviors. Most, however, would call it an example of flooding, and agree that working sub-threshold is the ticket to success with an aroused pup.
So there's no excuse, evolved positive dog-training-wise, for why we went. I just knew I wanted to see if Fozzie's perfect adopter might be lurking somewhere out there and thought that if she is, this event might be where she'd come.
And to my surprise, the result was something other than complete disaster. Sure, there was a certain amount of barking and lunging. Mostly at really big dogs, dogs who looked directly at him, dogs with tall pointy ears, and of course dogs who came out of nowhere.
Which left plenty of dogs, including some medium-sized, floppy-eared dogs, dogs in fascinating headgear,
and dogs on ice skates,
who elicited little reaction.
But with Fozzie, of course the real triumph was the human interactions.
As with so many of his breed, though he may not be able to kick back and have a martini with every canine he comes across, every human was pretty much a guaranteed recipient of love.
None of these humans was quite ready to run off into the sunset with him, but it made me feel very good to get so many affirmations of what a people-loving beast he is. And to see the joy on people's faces as they got to pet such a big, velvety, loving mighty creature.
I can't say that bringing Fozzie to an adoption event was relaxing or something I'd want to do every day. But it did make for a tired couple of dogs,
|Photo: Narda Alarcon|
a chance to show off how sweet and cuddly pit bulls can be, and a chance to meet some really nice people.
And maybe the good impressions made will result in adoptions for certain pit bulls--like Simon, who also came from Jasmine's House and elicited a lot of interest--
which is good news for pit bulls everywhere.