Sunday, July 10, 2016

A weekend of firsts

This was a weekend of many firsts for Baylee.  After much debating and thinking through the process I decided to take her along to the dog show in Dallas.  I've felt for a long time that Bentley needed a doggie companion on our show trips; other more experienced show people always bring along a companion if they are just showing one dog.  I ordered a crate that would hold both of them - the others I have were either for one dog or for several. I packed all the gear and off we went on Thursday morning.
What I didn't account for in all my thinking things through was that Baylee had never been on a long road trip.  She has never really been anywhere other than trips to the pet store, the vet, and to the Botanical Garden for Dog Days.  She isn't much of a walker so I rarely take her out in the neighborhood or to the park.  As much as I always think about the dogs and how they perceive activities and events I never gave this a thought...until we were on the road. The only road trip she had ever been on was her ride to her new life when I brought her home from Louisiana.  I'm sure she was a bit puzzled at times, but she took it all in stride!

We stopped at a rest stop about an hour from Dallas for a potty break and walk.  She had never had to potty on a leash, but caught on quickly.  I munched on lunch while she and Bentley stretched their leashes as far as they could and sniffed all the interesting smells.  Then back in the car and on to Dallas.  I put down the second row seat so (1) I could see them and they could see me and (2) they would get plenty of air.  It was a hot day and I knew that at times they might catch a little sun. There was no napping; I had four little eyes glued on me every time I snuck a glance into the rear view mirror.

While we checked into our hotel I left the dogs in their crate - what a scene they caused!  So many people stopped to chat and we had a lot of fun.  I only had the not so great cell phone with me, but snapped this picture.  Baylee's first hotel stay worked out fine!  She quickly learned that her half -howl half-bark was not appropriate.  We had a little hesitation on the first elevator ride, but she followed Bentley, the expert, on the elevator and then looked up at me like, "Ok, I'm trusting you here".  Most importantly, she was happy sleeping in the crate and we had no accidents!
Baylee was very patient while Bentley was getting ready and in the ring. She was happy when we walked around and enjoyed the attention she got.  The barking and noise didn't really bother her although once when several really large dogs started barking I could tell that she was intently listening to their bark and wondered if there was a doggie message being transmitted!

Friday evening it was time for some fun!  We headed out in rush hour traffic to Klyde Warren Park near downtown Dallas.  This beautiful 5.2 acre park is built over a freeway and offers a quiet place to relax in the heart of the city.  There is a very nice dog friendly restaurant in the park.  Bentley and I ate there last year, but I really wasn't hungry on this visit so we didn't eat. I'll do a post on the park on Small Simple Things of Life soon and put the link on this blog.

We parked across the street and as we were waiting for the traffic light to change I realized that Baylee had never been in a busy city situation.  It was rush hour and traffic was heavy and moving fast on the street. When the light changed I stepped off the curb and, on cue, Bentley fell into place next to me.  He's a pro and she followed along!

Our first stop was at one of the waterscapes.  Neither dog was interested in getting in the water or getting a drink.  I did put water on Baylee as she was really hot - it's all that fur that gets in the way! There weren't many people there that night and all evening activities had been cancelled out of respect for the law enforcement officers who were killed the night before.  We enjoyed the cool breeze while sitting in the shade.  Several children and adults came up and asked to pet the dogs.  I always love it when people politely ask to pet them!

Doing what hound dogs do best- putting their noses to the ground!
The park was very relaxing and we enjoyed walking around.  I did drop the lead while we were in the middle of the large grassy area and they stayed close to me.

When we got home I threw the new crate pads that I had bought on the sofa.  Baylee, feeling quite pleased with her new skills and feeling like the Queen of Everything, curled up on them and proceeded to take a long, long nap!