I am obsessed with men's gymnastics. I got into the sport while I was at the University of Michigan, and ended up covering the Wolverines for four seasons. Most of the fifteen guys competing for spots on the Olympic team are guys who were in college when I was, who I saw all the time during the season and know to one degree or another. Juno now knows a bunch of them too, since she went to Winter Cup in Las Vegas this year. (That was actually right before her temporary retirement.) She has a special affinity for the Oklahoma guys!
We took the train down to San Jose. To a lot of dogs, a train squealing into the station might be a huge scary thing, but to Juno it's old news. She's great at trains. As soon as we got off we saw a bunch of the Stanford alums, which was lovely fun. Stanford, with three competitors, had the second-biggest contingent in the competition (Oklahoma had five).
Juno had to do a ton of crowd work today, her favorite kind. The command is “Follow Dad,” and she thinks it's great fun. She completely ignores everyone in the crowd, focusing intensely on where my dad is headed and leading me through, so I can ignore the crowd as well. Thanks to Juno, we got to sit in a nice area with folding chairs near the vault runway, instead of up in the nosebleed seats.
Before the competition we hung out as close to the floor as we could get, so we could say hi to people. We saw Kurt Golder, the Michigan head coach, and talked with him a bit about Sam Mikulak, the awesome Michigan Wolverine who may just make the Olympic team (!!!). Sam is a little past my time (he was a freshman two years after I graduated), but I still know him a bit. We also saw our old buddy Paul Ruggeri, a big Juno fan, and Juno's bestest gymnastics buddy of all, John Roethlisberger. They met at Winter Cup and Juno was in love! We also got to see my two Michigan buddies Evan and Scott, who are working for Inside Gymnastics and USA Gymnastics respectively. Men's gymnastics is such a small world that every meet is like a lovely little reunion.
The meet was amazing, and so was Juno. I have never been at such a loud gymnastics meet, even at NCAA championships—I mean, people were shrieking, en masse! And the floor where we were vibrated like it was going through an earthquake anytime someone walked on it. Juno took it all in stride and went to sleep. I love her so much!
|Juno at the Shark Tank!|
I have to admit, I was a little worried that Juno's poutiness over Kaline would carry over into her work. But that was decidedly not the case. She was her usual excellent self, and I think she appreciated the opportunity to work even more than normal because it was a chance for us to focus just on each other, and for her to get away from the puppy. We had such a wonderful time!
When we got home, Kristin said Kaline was a little star for her (yay!). Since he was awake and peppy, I took him and Juno over to a Kepler's event. I used to work at Kepler's (it's a bookstore, in case you're unaware), and it's closing for the summer, so all the current and former staff were invited back for a sort of indoor picnic. Of course everyone wanted to meet Kaline, and I thought it'd be a great chance for socialization for him (and for Juno to see all her friends!).
It went very well. While Kaline was awake, he mostly played with his chewy ball that I brought to occupy him. He was polite with everyone, not timid and not mouthy either. He met tons of new people, and got held on many different laps with absolutely no issues. He fell asleep on my lap for a while amidst all the hustle and bustle. He was extremely curious when he saw Juno go nuts over her best friend, Alex. If she even smells him in the store, she starts whining and dancing around; once they get together, she basically attacks him (in a very loving way), whimpering and growling and wagging her entire body as she pounces on him.
Everyone loved both the dogs, naturally. Kaline settled nicely on each person's lap, snuggling into their chests and making his insanely cute little gurgly lizard noises. They said he sounds like a baby dinosaur from Jurassic Park!