Every year, our local shelter, Dumb Friends League, holds a fundraising event called the Furry Scurry. It's really a sight – thousands of people and dogs walking together through the park. Thousands. Of dogs.
As you know, one of Ruby's biggest challenges is learning how to control herself around other dogs. I'll be honest with you, I was of two minds when I thought about bringing her to this event: 1) It's going to be a disaster. 2) It'll be so overwhelming, she'll just go with the flow.
Either way, it would be a valuable (and unique) training opportunity, so we decided to go.
When we arrived, she could see, smell, and hear all the hubbub in the distance, so I thought it would be good to do a little basic training before we hit the big time.
And she was great, she listened, she was her awesome Ruby self. Then we made our way to the route and the closer we got, the more excited she became. Of course, the second she spied all the dogs, she made a break for it – no pix, but I do have the leash burn to prove it.
How to describe her level of exuberance? Not a politician on the campaign trail...that's apathetic in comparison...
Ah! It was the canine equivalent of big dinners at my grandmother's house when I was a kid. In order to get to the meatballs, you had to make your way through the gauntlet of love – your own grandparents, other people's grandparents, your aunts, uncles and cousins – kissing, hugging, and embracing everyone along the way. Ruby was like my entire gigantic, affectionate Italian family rolled up into one exhilarated yellow puppy, rushing around, pinching all the other puppies' chubby cheeks.
So, yes, lots of this. I could have been wearing a bacon suit with a cheese hat, she couldn't have cared less about me.
Undeterred, I persisted. The crowd thinned for a moment; this was my chance to get her attention.
Bingo. I had her.
And then? Check this out:
Look at that droopy leash. Droopy leash! With two long-lost cousins just inches away! Unbelievable. I know it may not look like much to you, but the utter joy, excitement, and encouragement I get from this photo – seeing her glance at the dog but making the choice to just walk right by him – is indescribable.
Already feeling triumphant, we approached the starting line. A look ahead,
and a look behind. This was my first Furry Scurry and the amount of people and dogs is really unbelievable.
Ruby actually wound up being pretty good as we walked with the masses. Occasionally somedog or another would strike her fancy, but for the most part, she stayed the course.
I walked Kiva for most of the route. She was my perfect girl, as always.
A shot with both of my girls. The little imp turned around, of course.
I'm really glad we decided to go. I'm working hard on getting her used to being around other dogs without going crazy and I feel we made some progress here. And it was just so much fun being around all the dogs.
A few more shots of the day...
A volunteer was handing out poop bags at the finish line. Very cute.