Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Spooky Dog at the Faire

We went to the last Saturday of the Midsummer Renaissance Faire in Bonney Lake today. It was the first time we'd ever been there in cool weather. It was mostly great, eating meat pies and turkey legs, watching people in their exceptional and sometimes half-hearted costumes, watching magic and juggling and jousting and sword-play. It was mostly great, except ...

Teddy got spooked by the sound of distant cannons. Okay, I didn't even hear them at first but his dog ears did and he was constantly reminding me with a hard tug which direction the car was parked. That dog could get me home in a thunderstorm. Most of the time he's light on the leash but tonight, my hands are sore and I wished more than once that I didn't have one of those nylon ribbon leashes. Actually, I wished more than once that I hadn't brought him or that it was actually cool enough to bring him back to the car. I never did see where they were shooting off those cannons, not that I would have gone near them with Teddy on the line.

I didn't know what to do. He slipped his collar twice and tried to crawl under tent flaps until I found a man with a riveter who punched a row of holes in his leather collar. Teddy wasn't happy when I tightened that thing around his neck and wrapped the leash around my waist as ballast against his straining. He calmed himself down when we stopped for a show and he crawled under us in the bleachers. He just needed a tight spot to hang out. After that, we watched a number of shows. We liked the rat show, Cirque du Sewer. She's got the cat trained to play in the rat show! It was a good show. And as we sat on the bales of hay, Teddy crawled under our knees. I spread my skirt out over him to make a tent around him. That did the trick and afterward, Teddy sniffed hello to a few dogs and saw that they weren't shot through with cannon-fire so he relaxed a bit. Then, there was a bakery woman with beautiful tarts and pies and a friendly dog. Teddy found he could be social again. Sometimes I really miss eating junk food. These baked goods were beautiful sugary things, bound to kill me with their sweetness. When I die, I want to die of key lime tarts, if you don't mind.

Really, I'm not going to bring Teddy to the fair next year. It's just easier than trying to calm him. I've heard that if you ignore fearful behavior, it'll go away, but my hands hurt and it's not worth retraining him for something we do once a year. It wasn't like bringing him to a Fourth of July celebration, but it was enough.

Plus, Teddy ate junk today. He was too quick for me to see what things were before they went down the hatch. I'm just hoping stuff doesn't come back up in the middle of the night.

By the end of the day, Teddy learned the trick of being in a tent of my skirt and we watched the jousting show in relative peace. We were seated right behind the queen's chair. Teddy tucked under my skirts and looked out from under the queen's chair at the horses and people playing games on the field. Most of it was relaxed play and lots of cheering except that one horse freaked out when his rider pretended to fall off and he was suddenly riderless. Teddy knew just how that horse felt, like the world was coming to an end and cannon-fire was approaching on the horizon.

Thank you for listening, jb

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