Last fall Sunny was new to her Briarwood Advanced Hobby class. We didn't know the people or the dogs very well. One of the dog owners convinced Gail, the owner of Briarwood, to enter Briarwood dogs in the Christmas Parade. Gail wasn't very enthused about it, but decided to give it a try.
At the time, we were working on teaching the dogs to jump through hula hoops. When Gail asked who was going to be in the parade, she mentioned having the dogs jump through hula hoops. A dog can't jump through a hula hoop while their owner is holding their leash. I was not going to have my precious dog off leash, downtown, in a loud crowd with unfamiliar loud noises all around. I said we couldn't make it.
At the first post-parade class, I heard the story of what happened. Briarwood was placed by a band in the parade staging area. A band member clapped the cymbals and the group from Briarwood quickly came up with a Plan B that didn't require any dog to be off their leash, not even for a second. They did the simplest heeling drills: left turns, right turns, about turns. The crowd cheered and clapped and thought it was wonderful.
Now Gail loves doing parades. Briarwood Advance Hobby dogs, including Sunny, marched in the Doo Dah Parade last spring as the Poop Patrol. We had pooper scoopers and did fun drills, formations, and skits with the dogs 100% on leash.
This fall when asking who was going to be in the Christmas Parade, Gail mentioned that all dogs would be 100% on leash. I'm going to be walking along behind the rickshaw with two leashes in my hands. Fraulein, the German Shepherd pulling the rickshaw, will also be on leash.
There are two Advanced Hobby classes. Sunny is in one and Pappy is in the other, so we know all the people in Advance Hobby now. They are all dog lovers and we all watch out for each other's dogs. Sunny and Pappy will have lots of extended family there if anything unexpected happens. Three of them work as vet assistants. I consider the whole thing very safe or I wouldn't do it. The dogs love doing it or I wouldn't do it.
Little Pieces of Good News
My Kalamazoo manager (who is not really my manager but has the assignment of watching over me and acting like a manager because my real manager works for Pfizer in New Jersey and has only met me once) showed me an email written by my real manager to his superior requesting a January 9 Pfire date for me. Both my real manager and my pseudo manager are the nicest of guys. I had asked for the January date and it had been tentatively agreed to, but this is the first concrete evidence I've seen that it is really going to happen. If it does happen, I have 44 more working days until I get Pfired. This is good news.
My blood pressure was 116/69 at my doctor's appointment this morning and I got taken off my blood pressure medicine. That was one of my goals in losing weight and it was very satisfying to have it happen. I'd had the dosage cut in half this spring so my current dosage is very low and can safely be eliminated. One of many health incentives to never gain that lost weight back again.
Sunny liked riding in the rickshaw. She sat in the rickshaw box looking like the princess that she is. While I pulled her around and around, she watched her classmates practice their stunts for the Twelve Dog Daze of Christmas - dancing, singing, leaping, carrying rings. I think she was glad to be in the rickshaw.