Thursday, November 4, 2010

One down, one to go

The prison demo last night went great. Phoenix worked well and, proving that he has ZERO judge of character, was a total schmooze during the meet and greet with the inmates. You'd have thought they were all his best buddies. That's my dog - gets snarly with a friendly golden retriever but adores criminals.

But first we had to get there. Remember that Nissan commercial from a few years back? The one where the mysterious little man in colored sunglasses says "Dogs love trucks"? Well, it's true. Phoenix thinks the Farmer's truck is ALL THAT. It's a Chevy Silverado, not a Nissan, but I guess it doesn't matter. Malinois love trucks.

I abandoned the notion of the seatbelt/harness thingie. The harness fit well enough but the strap that attached to the seatbelt wasn't nearly long enough and it wasn't adjustable. If I'd attached it, Phoenix would have been basically immobile. That didn't look comfortable at all so he ended up riding loose.

First he sat up and looked out the windows. Then he laid down. Then he gave me kisses and tried to crawl in my lap. (Fortunately we were still on the country roads at that point and I could stop and show him the error of his ways.) Then he sprawled out across the seat and put a paw on my leg and went to sleep. On the way home from the demo, he curled up in a little ball and didn't budge the whole trip.

OK, back to the demo. Before we went in, I had to have Phoenix's article bag inspected, as well as his treat bag and tug stick. The fellow who did the inspecting thought the metal scent articles looked highly suspicious. He counted them. I suppose he meant to count them before we left, too, but guess he forgot. We all got stamps on our hands that showed up under black light and had to be scanned out before we could leave.

It was a group affair, with about a dozen ICDOC members and their dogs. How's this for irony - people in ICDOC (Iowa City Dog Obedience Club) shirts giving a demo for people in IDOC (Iowa Department of Corrections) shirts. First we did a little obedience demo. Then we did a little agility demo. Then we had a meet and greet where the inmates could pet the dogs.

At the risk of totally creeping me out, one man not only remembered ME, he remembered JAMIE, who hasn't done the prison visit in four years. Most of the men were polite and appreciative. They talked about their dogs "on the outside." Truly, being locked up away from my dogs would a horrible punishment.

Yesterday, the inmates. Today, the Kiwanis Club. Tonight, Utility class.

Lots of riding in The Truck!

1 comment:

  1. The prison demo sounds awesome! I'd love to do a prison demo. That is pretty creepy about the guy that remembered you and Jamie, but it goes to show how great of an impression you/your dogs make for these guys. Maybe they'll get out and want to try agility or other dog activities when they see how fun it is.

    That's interesting about Phoenix being BFF with the inmates. Since Malinois (and other breeds of course) have good inborn ability to judge character, it makes you think that the inmates are good people who've made some bad decisions.

    So cool that Phoenix loves the truck. My dad had a truck forever and our Golden LOVED it. If you said to him, "Do you want to go for a walk in the truck?" he'd just about pass out from excitement because it's two of his favorite things combined - in his mind, anyway.

    Maybe it's a macho thing for the dogs.

    By the way, tell the Farmer congratulations on having a real truck. I'm not being sarcastic, I really mean it. I'm so, so sick of those "designer" pick ups, like the Cadillacs and Lincolns who have smaller beds than some car trunks and it's just for a status symbol. My dad had an F-250 but it was one of those looong bed ones (with just the single bench seat) because really, if you need a truck, you need the room to transport things! It's just one of my pet peeves because there's no question that the designer trucks won't ever be used to carry things other than people and their Soy Mocha Lattes from Starbucks.