Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bonus post: party and puppy!

A bonus post, in two parts.

Part 1. Party update.
The local branch of the Emerald Society rents a party room at a hotel right where the annual St. Patrick's Day parade ends. For $15, you get all the beer you want - Guinness, Smithwicks (my choice), or Coors or some other cheap shit if you're an idiot - plus water, soda, pizza, live music, and occasional raffles. And since you're partying with cops and firefighters, everything is totally safe and you can leave your coat on a chair and go get another beer! And if you're single, it wouldn't be a bad place to meet good-looking men in uniform who know how to have a good time.

Last year, I won a raffle under an assumed name. It was towards the end of the party, when I was, like, nine beers deep, and it was a raffle for a gift certificate for a tattoo shop. They called the name Chris Baldwin, and no one said anything. So they called the name again, and I started whooping and hollering and ran up to claim "my" prize. The girl in charge of handing stuff to winners gave me a truly dirty look and demanded to know my name. "Chris Baldwin!" I hollered. She stared, clearly disbelieving. "Christine Baldwin," I added, returning her filthy look. No one asked for identification of any kind. I got the certificate, and spent the next two hours introducing myself as Chris Baldwin. Interestingly, I haven't used the certificate yet, because the shop had just opened and I was a little hesitant to get a tattoo without seeing a portfolio. Now that a year has passed, I guess it's about time, huh?

So yesterday's party was good too. I didn't win any raffles by lying, and I drank a lot less than I did last year, but we still had an awesome time dancing like idiots and drinking and yelling and stuff. The pipe-and-drum corps from the parade go through the party rooms and perform for beers and cheering, which is amazing. Have you ever stood directly next to an enthusiastic drummer? It's loud. One of the friends we were with had to work yesterday evening, so we left when she did (they had run out of Smithwicks, so why stay?) and headed home in time to watch Cops and go to bed early. Now that's exciting living.

Part 2. Dog update.

Pancakes is settling in nicely. So far, we know the following things:
  • She was fed people food.
  • She slept in a people bed.
  • She was raised by a lady or an effeminate man.
  • She was not well trained.
To elaborate:
She will not be fed people food at our house, and she's adjusting pretty well to that idea. She's stopped trying to climb us to get to whatever food we're holding, and only begs for a second before giving up and sitting quietly. To reinforce the whole hierarchy thing, we eat before we feed the dogs, and she seems to get that.

She also won't be sleeping in our bed, which is still a bit of a challenge for her. The first night, she woke us up twice whining, and when Andy opened the crate door to let the dogs out in the morning, she was across the room and curled up under my arm on the bed in under a second, no joke. She has learned the command "off," which in our house means, "Whatever your paws are on, remove them at once," so if she's jumping on someone, she has to get down, and if she's on the couch and shouldn't be, she gets off, and if she's on the bed, she suddenly forgets what "off" means. It's a work in progress, is what I'm saying.

She's a little bit afraid of Andy. Again, already loads better, but so far she's made it pretty clear that she's my dog, not his. She follows me around, hopping on her back legs half of the time to see whatever I'm doing, and would much rather be near me than Andy. When Andy is downstairs eating breakfast and getting ready for work, she sits outside the bathroom door waiting for me to be done with my shower. We're working on creating more comfort between them by having Andy feed her and let her outside, which is going pretty well so far.

Being poorly trained is actually not a huge surprise. For some reason, many people don't bother to train their small dogs, possibly because it's so easy just to scoop them up and make them do whatever you tell them. But really, this is a disservice to both the owner and the dog, so we're working on commands already. Pancakes is clearly a smart dog, so she needs to have some of her loads of energy channeled into training. Like I said, she's already learning "off" pretty well, and she's doing okay with "come." "Come" is actually an incredibly important one for us to teach her, and for her to know she absolutely must come to me when I tell her to, because she's about half Jack Russell terrier, and they are notorious for darting out any open door and running off. We live on a busy enough street that it's not safe for her to get out and take off, so she will not be outside without her harness and leash until we know that she will immediately do as she's told. She does seem to think that "come" is some sort of game, because she'll come close and then dart away as soon as I praise her. So, lots more work to be done there!

She rolled in shit the other night, which was absolutely disgusting. I know that's a thing that dogs do, but Rooster never has, so it was a surprise. So we got to learn that while Pancakes doesn't love them, she behaves okay in the bath. And we learned that my stomach is not as strong as we might hope, because I came pretty close to puking.

She and Rooster are still working out who's going to be top dog. It's funny to see, because Rooster is always such a sissy! But now he butts in front of her to be petted and fed first and to sit closer to me or Andy, and she's been letting him. We'll be keeping an eye out to see if this becomes status quo, or if she stages a COUP!

What are your St. Patrick's Day traditions? Any questions about Pancakes that I didn't answer?

1 comment:

  1. I did not know the Chris Baldwin story, but it's spectacular.