I think Trixie has earned herself another dog post.
Last weekend, we went to a friend’s wedding, and Steve was in the wedding party. Hopefully we’ll get some good pictures back, and you’ll actually get to see what Steve looks like. It’ll look a hell of a lot better than my failed attempt at photography.
Anyway, the wedding was taking place in the little town where some family of Steve’s lives, ya know, the ones with the Australian shepherd puppy. Well, that puppy had grown a whole bunch, and Trixie had grown an assertive side! Oh my!
She was funny. She would not go near the puppy, she’d just lay still, but if that thing got inside a perimeter that she had decided was too close, grererer’rowl! Rerrererererooof! Oh my my, what are those? Hackles?
Unfortunately for Trixie, the puppy didn’t understand that was a loud signal to leave her the hell alone. So if we didn’t intervene, she would have been doing that all weekend. that dog seemed to think that was a sign of play. Um, pooch, ya might wana learn your own species’s body language.
We tried everything, most of which involved separating the dogs in some way. Even if they were outside, they wouldn’t settle things there either. they’d just avoid each other. So either the pup was downstairs while we were upstairs, or we were downstairs and Trix stood at the top of the stairs, or the pup was leashed to someone so she would stay away from Trixie. Poor trixie. I was proud of her assertiveness, but it still didn’t quite work. I was also dead scared that Trixie would surprise everyone and try and bite the puppy. I would never be able to forgive myself if that happened.
I felt I was in a horrible position. I didn’t want to correct Trixie for speaking her mind and telling that puppy to go pound rocks, but…she was in that puppy’s house, and I didn’t want the barking and growling to go on all weekend in their house. I was afraid they’d never have us back. They were very understanding and doing their level best to correct their puppy’s behaviour, but still, it’s their house. so I just tried to get between them and stop it before it started.
I was also dead scared that her fear of that pup would transfer to other dogs, and I didn’t want that to happen. but I’m learning that Trixie doesn’t have anything against a dog until it offends her first. then she holds a grudge! My god, whoever said dogs didn’t hold grudges hasn’t met mine.
then, at the wedding, another groomsman had a guide dog too. but for some reason his parents were holding onto it for him…and they were nice enough to give me a ride between the wedding and reception, which were in different towns and timed a couple of hours apart. I couldn’t thank them enough for letting me go to their house between wedding and reception. It made the tasks of feeding and relieving Trixie very easy, and Trixie got to meet his guide dog. God those two dogs had fun, and he became a big ol’ showoff. At one point, he dropped a bone in front of Trixie as if to say, “Play with this.” when she didn’t, he ran away with it. I swear he said, “too slo! You lose!”
The wedding was awesome. I barely knew the bride at all, but the speeches from her and her bride’s maids made me wanna cry. The food was great, and Trixie behaved herself perfectly…except at the end when she got tired and tried to see if she could dive for stuff. but other than that little moment, she was perfect, following folks wherever we needed to go, hanging out under the table and being quiet as a mouse, just being gorgeous.
then I got home and found out that this summer, we might be able to meet up with her puppy raisers! They’re going to be on this side of Niagara Falls, which is a lot closer than Sacramento. I’m so excited I can’t stop thinking about it. I want them to see that Trixie is still fit as a fiddle, happy, and most importantly, awesome!
…Which brings me to the fears side of things. I’m afraid she may be silly as all hell with them present and they’ll be left with a less than stellar vision of what she’s like. There’s a silly part of me that is worried about the logistics of our initial meeting. I mean, should we meet in a train or bus station? Trixie may catch sight of them and mow down half the station to reach them. Sure she’s a working dog and knows the difference between work and play…but these are the people who raised her from puppyhood. I could understand if she lost it and went for them.
But these are small things and I’m sure it’ll all work out and it’ll be a fun time for all. if it can happen at all, it’s going to.
Remember I mentioned a wile ago that my neighbours were going to be proud parents soon? Well, the baby isn’t born yet, but it will be soon soon soon! But the funny new thing Trixie does is whenever she can greet my neighbour, she runs up to her and sniffs her belly. Can you smell baby in there?
I had a funny thing happen the other day when I was out with Trix on flexi. Whenever I put her on the flexi, I put the harness and leash on my shoulder. I’ve never had a problem with the leash falling off in the summer. In the snow, I clip the leash to my coat zipper so if I slip, it won’t go flying. Well, the other day it fell off when I was in the grass. Damn it I didn’t have a hope of finding it.
Just then, someone came by. I stopped him and asked him if he could do me a favour. I asked him if anywhere near me he could see…and as I was about to describe the leash, he said “dog shit?” I laughed and said no, but if there was some that I somehow hadn’t noticed I’d pick it up. He said no and then found the leashfor me. But I’ve never had someone put it that bluntly before.
After two years with Trixie, I had my first almost denial of access. But it all worked out, so it wasn’t a major deal. I went to a restaurant to get some takeout. Once I had it, I said I was going to call a cab. They said they would call it for me. I didn’t get a chance to tell them to mention my guide dog. I know I don’t have to, but I do this just because I don’t want a guy to show up with severe alergies and really not be able to take her. but I’ve heard that half the time when I say this, the message doesn’t reach the cabbies anyway, so I wasn’t too wirried.
when the cab showed up, it was driven by a man with a heavy accent who said “Oh, you have a dog.” Another bystander and I explained to him that it was a guide dog and he still said, “Oh it’s a dog. I dont’ think I can take her.” After a couple of go-rounds, I said “Do you have severe alergies?” He said he did. So I said I’d call another cab and reached for my cellphone. Then the man started to skitter. “No no no no! come back! Get in! It’s ok! Get in!” Then the story changed to “some owners of the cars don’t want dogs in the car.” I told him that if they had a problem with it, they really didn’t have a leg to stand on because it was the law, and if they had a problem, they must be an extraordinarily small group of them because I’ve used this same cab company for two years and I’ve never been denied access before. then the story changed to “my face will be itchy all night.” to that I said you should have let me call another cab then.
I have another theory. I think he was muslim, and I know a lot of muslim folk like to try and use their religion as a reason to not take the dog. I mean, if his alergies were that bad, he would have let me call another cab. And he wouldn’t have got out of his door and run around to mine, even though I was offering to hand him the money so he didn’t have to move from his seat.
Luckily for me, the bystander got his cab number, so I didn’t care what he went on about, I was letting the company know that he needed a bit of education. I did, and the manager was awesome about it. I stressed that he wasn’t evil, he just needed a bit of education about the rights of guide dog-handlers, and I told him that I’d never had a problem with his company before.
This brings me to another point that I have to stress. Why do people feel they have to do my advocacy for me? I have a mouth and I’m quite able to use it. I didn’t mind when she was helping me explain to the guy that a guide dog has special rights. the guy had trouble with English, so two voices might be better than one. what I have a problem with is this: I came home and immediately called the cab company asking who I could lodge a complaint with. The first words out of the dispatcher’s mouth were “Is this the lady with the seeing eye dog? We already had a woman call about that.” whaaat? I guess the woman who helped me get his cab number was afraid I wouldn’t be able to remember his cab number even though it was just one digit. Ug. In this case, it wasn’t a big deal, but I had another woman call on my behalf when it was completely unwanted and uncalled-for.
Not long after I got Trixie, I went to a store and bought a bunch of shit so I had to cab home. The cabby said “the seats are leather so can your dog stay on the floor?” I said no prob, that’s where she belongs anyway. I got in, we drove off, all was good. About an hour later, I had a knock on my door. It was the cabby! How he got into the building I don’t know, probably followed someone, but there he was. He said someone had complained to the cab company that he had refused my dog. I was completely in shock. He was pleading with me to clear his name. He too is muslim I’m pretty sure, so didn’t need this mark on him. Not like anyone does, but…I think they get accused easier. so I had to phone the cab company and fix it for him. then I had to call the store and find out what happened. the lady said she was appalled that he made the dog go on the floor and the seats weren’t leather, hell they looked plastic. I told her I knew she meant well, but next time, check with me before calling and reporting someone on my behalf.
so please, everybody, unless you see that I’m horribly unmatched and indire need of an advocate, plese let me fight my own battles. I’m not too shabby at it. If you want to help, especially in the sense of making calls about me whenI’m not present, check with me first, ok?
Here’s a new one for ya. Have you ever had someone say “I won’t pet your dog…” while petting it? I had that yesterday, and busted the person at it. I’ve never seen someone skitter off so fast. This woman who was obviously a bit slow kept saying “that’s a working dog so I’m not gonna touch it.” At first I said thank you for not petting her. But then I stopped in an aisle. She came up behind me repeatedly saying “Not gonna touch your dog, not gonna touch it. Not gonna touch it..” ThenI felt it! Pet pet pet. I grabbed her hand and said “Excuse me, if you know better, then please do the right thing.” She was gone, gone gone gone. Hey Joe Public, I’m not dumb.
I think that’s about it. Hope you enjoyed my Trixie ramblings.