So, sunday was the first dog event that I took Smiley to. Since he is the face of my business, I thought he should start going to "respresent"! Since it was a day filled with laughing at him, I wanted to share the stories. For those that don't know Smiley, I adopted him from a WV shelter, to be euthanized the day after he came out of court ordered hold. He was rescued from a drug ring raid, where him and several other pitties were used for fighting or were bait dogs. Smiley was 1-1/2 yrs old, found in a kennel the size for a shih-tzu, in a dark basement with only a cat to keep him company. With a few scars, and his fearful reactivity and anxiety, we can assume he survived his first baiting. In the morning, I gave him 2 mg of Xanax to help with his anxiety in the car. He traveled very well and hardly any anxiety. Once we arrived at our spot, we had to unload the car. Smiley was very excited to check out his surrounding and the other vendors setting up. My girlfriend who went along allowed him to get some energy out and go potty while I unloaded the car. I have 4 30# steel weights that I use to anchor my tent. We decided to use them to tie Smiley to since I didn't get assigned a spot next to the grass like I requested. So the screw in stake couldn't be used this time. I threaded his leash through the eyebolts on top of the steel blocks. All four, tied together and then clipped to his 4 ft. leash. We started to set up the tent and get all the merchandise set up when we heard this laughter coming from the vendors on the other side of our section, about 100 ft away. We looked up to see what we were missing and then we saw it! SMILEY DRAGGING THOSE 120#'S OF STEEL BLOCKS ACROSS THE PARKING LOT TO VISIT ANOTHER PIT BULL AT ANOTHER TABLE! OMG! Everyone was watching him and laughing their butts off. My GF ran over and stopped him and then tried to pick up those weights to bring him back. I was laughing so hard I just couldn't say what I was thinking! I was thinking "why carry them when he obviously can drag them back!" LOL Well, all throughout the day, we were stopping him several feet away and dragging him and those weights back to our stand. Everyone around getting a big chuckle out of it. One guy even stopped my GF to ask if we were doing a weight pulling demonstration and can he try it with his pit bull. LOL Idiot. Certainly not so smart to think that this is NOT the proper way to train a dog in weight pulling - no matter how effective it may have seemed. For the next few hours, Smiley very happily and energetically welcomed every passerby. Several dogs stopping to say hi and Smiley doing his best to be gentle, especially with the puppies and younger dogs. He prefers the younger ones since they are of no threat to him. Then this 8 mos old male ridgeback comes over. Smiley being the gentleman he is to not get upset with the ridges attempts to hump him. But then he must have had enough and the 7th time the ridge tried, Smiley snarled, barked and growled at him. This was the first time I ever saw Smiley stand up for himself. The ridges owner was totally oblivious to how to control her dog. I forsee a 2 yr old ridgeback needing a home in the future. Even with the meds, he was pretty high strung but handled the action around him pretty well for his first time out. He stayed under the tent for the most part, sneaking under the table to the stand beside us to drink out of their pitties bowl. As much as Smiley wanted to make friends with him, that boy was just too calm cool and collected to want anything to do with Smiley's anxious muzzle licking. LOL Smiley tries so hard to make friends to little success with mature dogs. Puppies seem to really love him and his gentle energy. Once 3 o'clock hit, he was starting to get comfortable and finally lay down for several minutes at a time. It was then, while in his frog pose that I noticed his back paw pads were peeling. Two pads on each back paw had perfect circles torn off. Thank goodness for the pet health table 8 spots away. I took him down and bought a tub of pad conditioner. It was then I really started to think about why they hold these dog events in parking lots? And on black top to boot? Never really thought about it before. On a hot, sunny day, the macadam was hot and all those poor dogs where walking on it all day! I then decided that I would hit Ollies or Big Lots and get a big 8' x 10' rug to lay down on my vendor spot where dog's can escape from the hot surfaces and have a soft, cool place to lay for a bit. Of course, giving me an opportunity to educate other owners on proper care of their dogs feet on hot days (and certainly won't hurt my sales any!) I didn't do so well with sales, but certainly enjoyed the day seeing all the dogs and enjoying good conversations with the visitors. But the 2 best parts of the day were that Smiley sure got his lovin' from almost everyone that walked by. Nobody could resist that happy go lucky smile and wiggling butt that enticed even the pit breed fearing people to say hi to him. He got his fill of attention that's for sure. The second best part of the day was a woman with an 8 mos old pit bull/bull terrier mix who accepted my opinion on the prong collar and handed it over for one of my no-pull harnesses. We spend over an hour on training to use the harness and just general pit bull knowledge and some behavior and body language education. The pibble was very smart! Took to redirection and the harness with expertise and totally transformed to a good heal walker. A very open minded owner who truly wants to do best by her dog and make him an embassador for the breed. She even gave me a hug for the time I spent with her. And her son bought me a lemonade! I constantly go to training seminars and work with PRT trainers no only for my own knowledge, but to also help be informative to my customers and give training for my products. It also helps to design the products so they are better. It's customers like this that make it all worth while. Once we packed up to go home, truck all loaded, it was time to put Smiley in the truck. I realized I had not brought his meds with me! DOH!!! He jumped in but started to shake immediately. Poor boy had to endure the trip home without sedation. What a horrible owner I am! I kept looking back and talking to him trying to sooth him. Eventually, looking back at him, he closed his eyes, chin on the window sill, leaning up against the door, and fell asleep. You see, he won't ever lay down in the car. He usually sits, staring out the window, shaking, drooling and steaming up the window. He's pretty good at handling his anxiety, but I sure felt bad that I didn't bring his meds to help him calm down on the 2 hr ride home. We met my GF's hubby so he could pick her up, we let Smiley out to go potty. After a minute long pee, I took the leash and he ran in 3 complete circles around me. Guess he needed to let out some of that pent up energy caused by the anxiety. Back in the car and a 20 minute ride home, I let him sit up front in the passenger seat beside me so I could stroke him and rest my hand on him. He shook slightly, but felt much more comfy with me by his side. When we got home, he said his hellos to the other dogs, ate his dinner, drank 2 quarts of water and we all headed up to bed. Smiley took his favorite ball up, walked 3 steps onto the rug and dropped like a sack of potatoes. One big sigh, ball in mouth, he passed out never moving til I woke up at 7 am with him still in the same spot and still holding the ball. LOL Busy, busy day for all of us, but he shows no signs of wear today. I hope with each event, he gets more comfortable. Both with the car ride and the action of the event. I sure do love this boy. And seeing him so happy, I can't wait til this weekend's event again!