The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

18 August 2012

Mutt Strutt!

Kaline, Juno and I went to Mutt Strutt this morning, and we had a marvelous time! This is an annual event at Coyote Point, put on by Peninsula Humane Society (where I got Juno), and yet I had never been before this year. I took the website literally when it said 9-1pm, so I got to the park at 9:00. Way too early. The walk, it turned out, didn't start until 11:00!
Mutt Strutt base camp.
There were a ton of dogs and people all around. I had decided beforehand to take the dogs unvested, mostly for Kaline's sake. Juno couldn't care less, really, about socializing with dogs and people she doesn't know, but Kaline does. And at four months old, I want him to do a lot of socializing! Just not in his vest.
The pups in their super awesome Michigan bandannas. Lots of people think bright bandannas make Big Black Dogs look friendlier and more approachable.
Everyone, I think, follows a different vest protocol. Heck, I have different protocols for each of my dogs! For Kaline, I want the vest to mean that absolutely NO socializing happens with anyone but me (and Juno, naturally). For Juno, the vest means she has to be on her best behavior, but I definitely have let her say hi to people in her vest, and she's even eliminated in her vest (now a big no-no!).

Both dogs did amazing, and I was especially proud of Junebug. When I first got her as an eighteen-month-old, she would have had a massive meltdown at an event like this. (Now that she's good, I really wish I had some video of the crap she used to do when in the presence of other dogs.) Even today, when she's unvested she's not above saying something nasty to a dog she thinks is stepping out of line. So I was a little apprehensive about having her in the crowds where people would let their dogs run up toward her face.

She was a star all day. Not one cross word, not one incident of stink-eye. I think it really helps when she's in an environment of nearly all happy-go-lucky dogs, where everyone is just chill. Same thing happens at obedience trials, she's just cool as a cucumber because everyone else is too. Tons of other dogs were in Juno and Kaline's personal space, but not in an aggressive way, and they were completely fine with it. It was just a wonderful experience for all of us.
My rock star.
After we made a first circuit of the booths set up around the field, we hung out on these hay bales set up on one side. We met an adorable pit bull-mix named Kona who was wearing fabulous pink doggles. She's ten months old, and what a face! I was in heaven getting to see all these happy beautiful pit bulls everywhere. Had I the money, space and time, I would run out and rescue a pit bull yesterday. As you might have noticed, though, my hands are currently a tad full, what with the baby Doberman and all.

There was a great disc dog demonstration and then a costume and tricks contest. Kaline's one major transgression during this portion of the day was continually trying to scarf down the plentiful goose poop. So gross. He kept looking at me, affronted, when I'd pry his little mouth open and remove the stuff. "But Mom, everyone else is doing it!" And they were, except for Juno. Evidently goose poop is a doggy delicacy.
Chilling in the grass, NOT eating goose turds.
But he was great with all the dogs passing by. He'd either remain in his down, or politely go and sniff noses. I freaking love his dog manners! Juno and Angel both had to learn such manners, over months (years!). And Kaline just knows. Love. There were tons of gorgeous dogs up for adoption, including what looked like a pint-size version of Juno and this striking black-and-white pit bull who rolled over for everyone who approached. "Rub my belly?"
Vinny, a pit mix who is currently available for adoption at PHS! This was how he greeted everyone.
A little before 11:00, our friends Amie and Matt, and their dogs, guide dog puppy-in-training Pilaf and little terrier mix Ozzy, arrived! They are still shooting their show, Growing Up Guide Pup, even though for now they can't actually put together the episodes. So today Juno, Kaline and I got to be filmed! It was pretty sweet.

The dogs did well on the walk, though Kaline continued his annoying new habit of pulling. It's not like he gets out ahead and yanks me around, but despite pop-and-release corrections he keeps a constant tension on the leash when we are out with dogs he finds exciting (like a ton of brand-new dogs). Which hurts, yuck. And it makes me worry more about his little thinly furred neck. Juno was fantastic, pacing along steadily right at my side and keeping Kaline between us. At one point her Michigan bandanna fell off, and when we went back to get it she picked it up ever so nicely when I asked her to. We made a couple Michigan friends, and I was overjoyed when Matt actually knew where Kaline's name came from!

The walk was absolutely gorgeous, tree-lined and curving along the Bay. We could see planes coming in super low to land at SFO, and there were all different views of the Bay. Matt got tons of great shots. Little Ozzy is even more of a social butterfly than Kaline, and people and dogs both are so drawn to his adorable little mug. Pilaf was just cool, doing everything she was supposed to. She and Ozzy together are so cute!
Amie with Pilaf and Ozzy!
My awesome girl after the long walk.
By the time we got back, Kaline was wiped. It was like at the street fair, he collapsed every time I stopped. Still, we went around the booths again, and met more people and dogs, and hung out more with Amie and Matt. And right at the end, we met a pair of mascots!

Some dogs, understandably, are frightened of mascots, because if you didn't know there was a person in there (and how should they know?), those things are kind of freaky. Kaline took one look and thought: An enormous stuffie! When one of the mascots held out a paw for Kaline to sniff, my little guy opened his mouth and went munchmunchmunch. Didn't get a squeak, but still seemed satisfied. The mascots were charmed (thank goodness). If possible, I'd definitely like to figure out a way to work on mascots some more, since when Kaline is 80+ pounds it won't be nearly as cute if he munches on a paw. But I'm very pleased that yet another weird thing (in dog terms) happened and Kaline showed no trepidation. I love his confidence!

Hopefully we can do more outings with Amie and Matt and their gang soon!
Kaline for the rest of the day, post-walk.

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