It ended up being a really nice night. Adam took both the girls, so that I could focus on Heffner and making sure that it was a more enjoyable experience for him.
As in previous years, the dogs were all decked out in their Christmas coats.:0) This year, with the addition of Ruthie, I had another coat to make. I went to JoAnn's on Sunday when I realized that I hadn't even bought the material yet and the event was the following night! I couldn't find any Christmas themed holiday fleece type material that I liked that was going to be similar to what the danes had, so I went a slightly different route. I bought some adorable Disney themed Christmas material for the top layer and then got a plain, lighter weight Christmasy fleece for the bottom layer to provide some actual warmth. I used a jacket that I had already bought for her as my pattern of sorts. Sewed it all up and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out! She actually likes wearing this coat a lot better than the coat I bought her. And it's pretty stinkin' cute!
I'll get a better picture of her in it. Seriously cuteness!!
Our plan of attack was to park, get the tickets, then go back to the truck and get the dogs. I did NOT want to stand in line with other dogs crawling up Heffner's butt and me getting more and more agitated and him ticked off. It would have ruined the night. As it was, it took us about 15 min. to go a half mile to get to a parking spot because things were so packed. That didn't exactly put me in the best mood. I was really glad that we had left the dogs in the car once we got in line. The line was HUGE! And during our enjoyable little stay, there were even a few dog fights between dogs in the packed line. Common sense does factor in at events like this. But I had a game plan and I was going to be damned if oblivious people were going to ruin my night!
I had brought along lots of treats because I fully planned on using this exposure to so many LEASHED random dogs to work on Heffner's edginess that I saw at the previous trial (though I have a feeling that had a lot more to do with being in pain from the three cracked toe nails on his rear feet, that I didn't see until Sun. evening). It worked perfectly!! I actually had him on a loose leash for chunks of the walk. And he also had some awesome heeling (go figure, there were treats involved)!! I made sure to give as wide of a berth to other dogs as I could and when some of the spacing was getting tight and people were walking way slower than I wanted to, I just asked to allow some space through and encourage the owners not to let their dogs sniff Heffner since he wasn't a fan. I did receive a few snarky remarks, to which I really wanted to ask them if they would prefer that I say something to them ahead of time and have my dog not react than to have me say nothing and have my dog react in a manner that would cause them to think that he was about to eat their dog. That's just one of those things that I don't get. When someone gives you a warning, it's in your dog's best interest to take heed. That and I REALLY don't like rude dogs. Even around Bess and Ruthie, I'm not a fan of rude dogs up in their business.
And I got pretty off topic there. The take home point is that Heffner was awesome! No outbursts at all!:0) Still going to keep up with the original plan to put some effort into that reactivity though. It never hurts!
In the process of enjoying the walk and also trying to make sure that we maintained a certain bubble around us, Adam and I didn't take very many pictures, so I don't really have much to share.
Which leads me into the next portion of this post.:0) Sam over at Mister Rugby Sevens UD is having a Christmas themed photo challenge of sorts. I LOVE Christmas photo challenges!! Even though I'm not always able to keep up with them, it's certainly fun to try. The past couple of years I've issued myself a photo challenge with the dogs to do a daily Christmas themed picture even single day starting on December 1st. Last year it was getting pretty tough to come up with fresh ideas for photos, but this year I have a new toy, er dog!;0) With Ruthie in the mix, I can do some new spins on photos that I've done before. I can't guarantee that I will be able to stay on top of the daily photos, but I'm certainly going to try! I'm hoping that I'll see lots of great pictures on other people's blogs as well!!