Monday, August 9, 2010

Day at the Museum

Over the weekend we enjoyed a delightful time with family...Tim's cousin Kristin and her husband Greg happened to be visiting on business all the way from Manhattan!  Fortunately their schedule permitted some time with us, so we decided to stop by the Texas State History Museum -- an Austin icon and, just as important, a place where you can walk around and visit in air conditioned comfort.  In this 100+ degree summer heat that's a must!  Naturally, I hoped Alfie would be on his best behavior...maybe even show off a little of the great work he's been doing lately.  But it was not to be!

closeup of Alfie's blue jacket with a green sticker on it that says:  The Story of Texas/Texas State History Museum
Alfie got his own admission sticker -- how cool is that?

You see, the evening before, Kristin and Greg had come by our house for dessert and gotten acquainted with Alphini.  Naturally he loved them both, but for some reason he went kinda nuts over Greg.  He adored Greg!  The feeling was mutual, and they were best buds for the evening.  Then when the next day came along and we met them at the museum, Alfie lost all focus.  He didn't actually do anything outright bad, like bark or jump or lick...he still obeyed (most) commands (eventually)...but his concentration was completely shot.  He panted excitedly and pulled like crazy...and Alfie NEVER pulls!  As we worked our way through the exhibits, I was kept constantly advised of Greg's location by which way Alfie's nose was pointing.  Alfie may think he's a big dog, but I was reminded that 10 months is still very much adolescent territory! 

Looking up a large curving staircase, you can see me standing at the top; Alfie's dark fur is hard to see as he sits next to the railing.
Can you spot Alfie?

Closeup of us from the last picture; you can see Alfie sitting very tall at my side.
A nice "sit."  One of the few things he was doing well.

Still, he didn't cause any major disruptions and all in all I think it was an extremely valuable experience for him.  Greg did a great job of ignoring Alfie, which was just what he needed!  I did have an interesting moment when one of the docents approached me and kindly warned me to be very careful, as the footing throughout the exhibits was uneven (it was uneven, with many different surfaces, and even artifacts embedded in the floor!)  It wasn't until she walked off that I realized what had happened and asked Kristin, "Oh -- did she think I was blind?"  It's always an odd feeling when that happens...

I was pleasantly surprised at Alfie's behavior in the theater.  They've got a little 20-minute Texas history show complete with all sorts of special effects:  billowing smoke for the war scenes, thunder that shakes the seats and strobe lightning effects throughout the seating area, talking figures, seats that "pop" (to simulate a rattlesnake strike -- yikes!)...not to mention water misters that spray all over the audience as Galveston gets ripped apart by a hurricane.  Alfie was fascinated by it all.  He sat erect at my side watching and sniffing with intense interest but no real signs of alarm.  I guess he figured that as long as we were enjoying it, he might as well enjoy it too!

We rounded out the day with a trip to Amy's ice cream...ahhh.  By this time, Alf was too pooped to do anything but lie on the cool floor and pant.  He even ignored dropped spoons and bare toes walking past...good dog!

Top view of Alfie lying under a red chair, chin on the floor

His reward?  Taking off the jacket for a last goodbye hug from Kristin and Greg.  Thanks for all the fun, guys!


Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Isn't it funny how dogs are SO attracted to certain people? Talk about animal magnetism. It's awesome that Alfie was able to keep himself from jumping or licking--think how much he probably wanted to do those things. Ice cream sounds like a wonderful way to end the outing--you probably deserved a treat after all that!

Greg said...

Already miss him!! Thanks for making our trip so much fun. You guys were great hosts! See you next time we're in town!

Ruby's Raiser said...

So cute, hey, puppies gonna be puppies! But his control in the special effects theater is VERY impressive. :)

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta said...

At least it's not just my 10 month old pup that is that way! ;) It's nice to know we have a "twin". Sounds like a lot of great experiences! What a neat place to visit.