Thursday, July 22, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

Alfie in his jacket, sitting at my side; he's got a thoughtful look on his face, mouth slightly open, & his front paws are spread apart as if to brace himself
I've gotta be prepared for anything these days!

Strange things have been happening to us on our walks lately.  Yesterday I was at Hobby Lobby and as I got my card out to pay I put Alphini into a down/stay and dropped the leash, pretty confident he'd just take a snooze til I was done.  As I waited for my receipt, a lady walked by, distractedly talking on her cell...with a flexilead attached to a little dog who was, shall we say, "flexiwalking" about 6-10 feet from her (yes, inside the store)!!  Alfie saw this too, and was at least as surprised as I was.  He picked up his head, looked at them, then looked at me, with "??" written all over his face!  What a good boy, he never got up or anything despite it all.

Then today, we were off to pick up some items at Target and as we headed toward the counter to pay, 2 kids somewhere in the 5-7 age bracket careened around the corner, racing full tilt toward us.  The little boy wasn't even looking up, but down at a toy in his hands...before I had time to think "where's your mother" we'd collided, while his sister screamed at the sight of Alfie and dashed to the other side!  Now that was a real test, even for a well-trained dog, let me tell you!  But this is where not only training, but also Alfie's good temperament, came to the rescue:  his typical response to the odd, unexpected, or even frightening things that pop up on walks is a great one -- he stands still and just sort of watches, taking it in and I suppose, trying to figure it out!  That's just how he's always been, and I love it.  Pretty soon Mom and Grandma had shown up with effusive apologies...phew! 

After that came an episode I'd rather not go into, but suffice it to say I found it odd to encounter what seemed to be an entire bag of Doritos spilled on the floor of the bathroom stall at the library!  Hmmm...talk about a training challenge...

Then at the store this afternoon I had a rather unusual exchange with my checker, who wondered (in a sincerely concerned voice) why I talked to my daughter as if she were a dog (you know, giving little commands, kissy noises, etc.)...only to find that, really, I was talking to my dog...oh dear!  It's been quite a day. 

The good news is that with all the strangeness going on, Alfie's been a real trooper.  Larry from GDTx came to visit and do a short walk with us and was very pleased with his progress...hooray!

Alfie & I walking together; the setting sun casts our shadow on a limestone wall behind us
On that note, let's walk into the sunset...

6 comments:

Lauren and Don said...

Haha! I loved that post!!

As puppy raisers, we do encounter some very strange things :) That last story is so funny, with the checker wondering why you talked to your "daughter" like she was a dog!! Thank goodness Alfie has learned to expect the unexpected, and what a good boy he is, taking all those odd sights in stride!

Way to go, Alfie! Love that last picture of you walking- it looks like you are doing a really, really good job :)

Katrin said...

Wow those are some strange experiences. Glad that Alfie was able to take it all in stide with no big deal. Good boy!

L^2 said...

Haha... sounds like you had quite a day! Glad to hear Alfie handled it all well.

1000 Goldens said...

Alfie, you are doing amazing! I love the story of the checker thinking you were a human. P.S. I can't believe how tall you've gotten since I last visited!!

Becky said...

Alfie you sound incredible! So proud of you and how you handled a rather interesting day!

Ruby's Raiser said...

Oh, what a good boy, such an excellent temperament! I've had checkers give me the hairy eyeball before they realize I truly am talking to a dog, so funny!