Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tourist Trap

I've decided not to leave Laev where she might encounter gunfire without me, so I took her with me to our annual outing to Nashville, a tourist destination small town trading on its down home rural appeal and its spectacular fall foliage. It was rainy and cool, so Laev was perfectly happy to nap in her car crate. I stopped at the car to let her out, but she mostly wanted to continue her nap.

Then I took her out to work a bit in the town, which I thought would be good practice. Boy, was it! I don't know why this was so hard for Laev, who has been out in public regularly since puppyhood, but she was very distracted by the environment. She wasn't out of control or anything, but I knew I didn't have her attention. She just couldn't focus.

Alena and I stopped by a leather workshop for some supplies, and that was where Laev finally settled. Maybe it was just the staying in one place for a while? I don't know. But she finally started offering me unprompted behavior and she began to relax comfortably. She also served as store greeter while we were there, as at first we were waiting outside the open door, but as time passed and I conversed with Alena inside, we crept in out of the rain and Laev parked on the entry mat, looking for all the world like a well-trained dog. We chatted with the shopkeeper, Laev accepted pets from customers, and she almost got a job. ("Are you guarding the shop today?" a visitor asked. "No, anyone can get in, but she will only let you out with a minimum purchase." The clerk responded, "She can stay here all day!")

After that, I tried a bit of out-of-sight stays in the parking lot (with Laev on a long line and Alena only a few feet away!), but it was too much for her in that environment. She didn't move, but she would stand in place. Wish I knew what the big deal was, there!

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