Yesterday, Jamie and I decided to head to the annual Dogtoberfest. We had thought it was being held at Elmwood park (because it’s always been held there) so we walked Hobbes and Izzy around downtown to get their crazy out. I got stopped by a couple guys who complimented Mr Hobbes while Jamie kept Izzy going since she was starting to show signs of freaking out. When I was able to get away from them, Jamie informed me that it wasn’t in Elmwood park, it was being held on the grounds of St Francis, where we used to go for dog class before Field of Dreams was able to get their own property.
We had to make our way to a side street for Jamie’s mom to pick us up and in the process I tripped. Hobbes did well and moved out of my way when I tripped but didn’t attempt to get away and someone yelled at Jamie from a car to tell him I’d fallen while he was on the phone trying to give directions to his mom. Jamie’s mom is not wholly familiar with Roanoke and as soon as you say words like “Downtown” or “Shennedoah,” she goes blank. Say “Valley View” and she’s good.
We got her to take us to the St Francis property (it’s where they train service dogs!) and, since it had been a while, we screwed up and missed the road like we did the first time we’d gone there. But a quick turn around got us back on track.
She dropped us off and we walked up the small hill where others were parking so she wouldn’t have to go through the…weird way that they had their entrance and exit set up. We showed proof of vaccination, Jamie’s mom got lost and we had to tell her how to get back to at least one landmark she’d recognize, and we headed in. The volunteers complimented Izzy on her adorable little faery wings and Hobbes was just as cool as he could be.
We bought some tickets to do a little something, but ended up not using them. The downside is…we wasted money on tickets we didn’t use, but the upside was that the money goes to the organization and will be used in the continuation of training or the beginning of training service dogs.
We walked around a little bit. Hobbes and Izzy got blessed and they got a little ribbon tied to their collars by the really nice lady. Jamie and Izzy ran into a fellow classmate from High Hopes and Maisy’s mom thought I was walking Bergh around. (Maisy was Izzy’s classmate, Bergh was a fellow classmate). I just pointed out, no, this is Hobbes and he’s Izzy’s brother. It was cute.
Hobbes helped calm Izzy down a little bit and having her see someone she recognized helped her go through this one section and we ran into Hope. Jamie talked with Hope a little bit about her professional opinion on getting Hobbes into training for his CGC and eventually become a therapy dog while the entire time I put him in a “sit” and he stayed there, being a super good boy even when there were stupid people walking around and not paying attention to their dogs.
A little girl and her mom came up, the little girl asked if she could pet Izzy and Jamie said to pet her back because she may not do well with a pat on the head. The little girl pet her and Jamie kept Izzy calm and then she came to Hobbes and asked me if she could pet him and I said yes. He stood up to get a little closer to the little girl, it was adorable and I told him he was a good boy.
One of the trainers for Hope thought that we had Bergh and exclaimed how surprised she was to see a dog who looked so much like him. Jamie took Izzy over to Hope’s booth to get a tether toy that all our monkeys would enjoy and every time I went to make my way, someone would have their dogs right there and I was not thrilled.
I managed to get Hobbes next to the Nature’s Emporium booth so I could look at some stuff and all of the sudden, it was people crowded up against us. It was a lot like having a magnet and having a bunch of nails pushed closer and closer until one of them sticks.
We ended up slowly making our way out of the section. I bonked Hobbes’ head on something and babied him in front of some of the County officers while one of the officers was trying to get Izzy to come close enough for a treat so he could get her to like him enough for a small rub down.
I found out later that this…possibly aggressive pug had lunged at the officer and took the treat away from Izzy. Izzy freaked, Jamie thought the officer lost part of his finger, and the pug’s owner didn’t do anything.
At one point, in the vendor area, while I was trying to pull Hobbes away from a dog (I am not comfortable with face-to-face meetings with a dog I do not know and Hobbes. I am not risking my dog getting bitten), some dumb bitch decided it’d be ok to stradle a dog she did not know so she could get her free stuff. The dog in question was Izzy. Jamie was trying to give one of the people at Hope’s booth money for the tether teaser thing and paying attention to Izzy while this happened. He didn’t tell me about it until we got in the car, which is good because I would’ve flipped the fuck out.
During the short time we were there, we saw…a lot of stupid stuff. The parent who let their toddler hold the leash of their older dog, who stood one step ahead of the kid and didn’t move. It was really adorable, but not ok in a setting such a this. My first thought was that some dog was going to go after his dog and he did not have the strength to even pull his dog back.
Large shepherds, weimaraners, at least one sheltie, and other dogs on flexi-leads. I fucking hate flexi-leads.
Dogs whose parents found it “cute” and “ok” to let their dog come up in my dogs’ faces. People who made no move to correct behaviour and gave me dirty looks when I was attempting to pull my dog away from their over-zealous dogs.
Near the end, Hobbes gave up and laid in the grass. He rolled over for belly rubs, and someone with a large floofy black dog thought it’d be ok to let her dog come near him. Uh, no.
Maybe it’s because we went to obedience classes for all of our dogs. Maybe we’re just over-protective and we know our dogs fairly well. (our vet would probably say paranoid) Maybe it’s because we read up on proper introduction techniques and things. Maybe I’m just an asshole who doesn’t appreciate stupid people letting their dog get in my dog’s face.