Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Alvin's running with the big dogs

Oh boy oh boy!  Did we have an experience.  Alvin hit the dog park today and he may never be the same.  Timmie, Alvin, and I had a covert mission to sneak out of our own house because I just couldn't take the two of them and my blind foster dog, Stevie too and I knew if we played our cards right we could use the fact that Stevie prefers to get up some time after the crack of noon and I decided we would leave early when she would probably still be in her morning coma.  I did feel downright ridiculous turning to the dogs, putting my finger over my lips, repeatedly saying, shhhh but once Timmie realized what was up he and Alvin leaped around like two goons and made a great deal of noise.  Luckily Stevie doesn't hear well.  The only problem came when I realized that I had left my keys on the bed - the bed Stevie was in.  After tiptoeing in and safely getting out we were on our way.  Alvin doesn't like the car and I always feel just horrible seeing him afraid but he seemed to actually handle the ride well and I want him to start associating good things with car rides so they are not so traumatic for him.  We got to the dog park and a whole new world opened before Alvin's eyes.  There were probably about 20 dogs and for the first couple minutes Alvin played it cool and laid low. He is the most curious dog I have ever met and he just has to go see everything for himself.  I think that has been mistaken at times for Alvin being friendly or becoming bolder but in reality I am finding that come hell or high water, he simply must investigate.  So, he began walking up to people with his Adopt Me bandanna on and you can imagine the scene he caused.  He really honed in on one man and had a difficult time tearing himself a way from him, which was interesting to observe.  Then Alvin realized those furry little creatures were dogs and he lit up!  Alvin LOVES big dogs!  He LOVES them and wouldn't leave them alone.  It seemed to have a lot to do with the rather unfortunate reality that Alvin can walk underneath them and sniff their weenies.  Alvin's love for big dogs was so extensive that he was purposefully very naughty with me for the first time.  My dog Timmie made the unfortunate mistake of trying to hump a female yellow lab who ended up rolling him and Timmie was very shaken up.  I decide that he needed to go to the little dog area even though it's usually no fun over there.  I walked the three feet to put him in and turned around expecting to have Alvin next to me like he had been five seconds before and I see him trotting away.  I begin to call Alvin and he keeps trotting away faster and the louder I call the faster he trots away.  There was no cause for concern because the dog park is not only fenced but the entrances and exits are double fenced and he certainly wasn't headed towards an exit.  The problem was that I looked like an idiot and Alvin didn't care.  He then started his circle thing, which made it worse because the only time a human being can look dumber chasing their dog is when the dog literally has them going in circles.  What really got me is that he kept looking back and then speeding up when I got close and I was starting to get dizzy.  I don't know how I caught him but I did and I had no choice but to carry him because he had circled us out to the middle of the dog park and the leash was on the fence.  Normally Alvin is afraid to be picked up but all be darned if he didn't sit up just big as Pete.  I took him to the small dog side where there was only one other dog with Timmie and you would have thought that I shot him.  He was genuinely upset and went from trotting and playing to sitting by the gate staring at the other side and every time a dog would enter or exit that side he would stand up wagging his little tail like no tomorrow.  What made me feel very bad for him was that for whatever reason he saw a St. Bernard come in and he was fixated.  He ran along the fence line and got the St. Bernard's attention and they greeted, pressed against each other with the fence separating them, and generally mooned over each other.  Unfortunately for Alvin, the St. Bernard had a lot of play partners to choose from on his side and left Alvin to stare longingly through the fence.  I felt bad but I couldn't have the two dogs on separate sides and I couldn't trust Alvin to ever come back to me if I sprung him out of the little dog side.  We waited a long time for other little dogs to come but no one ever came and we headed home.  I was feeling really good because both dogs had ran, skipped, trotted and played and I glanced back at Alvin in the backseat to see what I was sure would be a look of gratitude on his face.  Instead I see Alvin looking as though he was having a seizure.  There were big spots of saliva on the sheet he was sitting on, his eyes were buggy, he was panting, and he was shaking from head to toe.  When he is very scared his face actually quivers and he was a trembling mess.  I pulled over but then what?  This isn't a dog that can be physically comforted and so I went for my only option and started trying to find remnants of left over snacks.  Sure enough, I found something but even food couldn't stop his shaking.  I raced him home wondering what to do, how much this had damaged him and wondering whether he had had some sort of a stress induced seizure. I opened the car door, he jumped out, I led to in the house, and the trembling stopped, his eyes de-bugged and he looked at me like, sucker!  It is only now as I type this that I realize that faking a seizure is such a good way to get out of being grounded for making your foster mom look like the dog park jackass, circling around like a lunatic.  Well played, Alvin!

By the way, we arrived home an hour later to find Stevie still fast asleep on the bed.  It is now 1:30 in the afternoon and she still hasn't gotten up.  I guess when I give her breakfast in bed it leaves no motivation to get up but I'm going to get tough and only give her until 2:00 and if she is still sleeping I am going to really consider making her get up.

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