Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our Grand Day Out

So I spent the week dreading Saturday, imagining dire consequences and sleeping poorly, as I was scheduled (due to my misplaced zeal at having a cute dog that everyone wanted to pet and thus entering him in a therapy dog class despite his spastic behavior) to drive to the Parkrose Max (light rail) station off Sandy Blvd., meet the class, place "therapy dog in training" vests on our unsuspecting students, board the Max, get off at the airport, and wander around the baggage claim area, waiting for our dogs to freak out. Actually, I fully expected the freak-out to occur upon boarding the Max train. I was happily disappointed.

I started the day by taking Scotty for a long run, hoping for a little fatigue-inspired laid-backedness. It was a thought.

After two wrong turns, and therefor slightly behind schedule and in my own full red alert, I found the Max station and met up with my class. Scotty was already pulling on the leash in a way that you could either interpret as excited to see other dogs, or sheer panic. Thus I began a long day of stopping, backing up, and giving Scotty another chance to walk on a loose leash.

Gathering at the Max Station

He looks dashing in his vest. He pulls on the leash. He gets on the Max train without any signs of fear, but he won't sit down without a muscular form of assistance (disallowed in the coming test). We get off the Max at the airport. He pulls on the leash. I stop and back up once, twice, seventy times, maybe.

The Max ride.

He likes the people, does not spook at any of the baggage handling equipment or rotating doors (although they spook me a little), mostly sits nice (for treats), gets lots of pets and coos, and finally falls apart when he sees his classmates going down some stairs and is delayed from following.

Scotty, trying to camouflage his trainee vest with hair.

Not a bad day, considering the prospects for chaos. I was expecting total wild dog freak-out with catch poles from a scene out of Animal Cops.

Scotty chilling on the way back to the Max station while I feel grateful to be alive and have a full tank of gas to get home. Yes, his trainee vest is still on. It has just been completely overgrown with hair.

Drew came home from his day of sportsmanlike leisure activities with a bottle of champagne to celebrate my courage.

In school, I learned that bravery was not being afraid, even though the circumstances and logic call for some fear. Courage was doing stuff even though you were afraid.

If that still applies, then I earned my champagne. Scotty got Sunday off.

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