>I’m feeling all sappy about the Trixter, so I thought I’d write about her. I would have had this up yesterday, but it got kinda busy and I ran out of time.
I don’t know if I’ve ever written about how much cooler it is to go to the mall with a dog than it was to go with my cane. I hated going to the mall pre-Trixie. If it was busy, I was guaranteed to bump lots of people, or avoid the people and clonk a display. If it wasn’t busy, I wouldn’t be able to get any help when I got lost, which I always did. Now, I can go to the mall, and move efficiently and get everything done! It’s great. We zoom between the people, and Trixie seeks out the black lines on the floor and follows them like paths. When they turn and there is nowhere else to go, she turns with them. Plus, often times when we got directions, they would always end up being wrong. I’ve come to realize that maybe the reason they were wrong was we were having to dodge stuff, and interpreting those dodges as the turns. So, if someone said “go left, then make the first right, then another right,” if we had to make a sharp right around something after going left, we would think that was the first right. So then we’d get all the turns messed up, and end up somewhere else. Now, Trixie does all the dodges, and they feel like dodges, so I don’t count them as turns. Now, when I ask someone if I’m on the right track for a given store, most times, I am!
I went to the mall yesterday, and in a half an hour, I had hit 3 stores, gotten what I needed and headed for the bus. I would have never done that in the old cane days. In the old cane days, it was an epic journey that involved asking a lot of people for a lot of help.
I love how Trixie remembers stores we’ve been to before. As soon as we get close, she starts zoomin’. She did that with Rogers Wireless, and then the popcorn place which is tricky to find, and even Shoppers, although less so. But the funniest thing she did was when we got off the bus. She actually stood there for a second surveying the area, and when she knew where we were, the tail started to wag, and she stood there for another second just wagging. It was as if she said “Ooo! The mall! I like the mall! It’s fun!”
You know, I’ve had her for almost 3 years, and I’m still figuring her out sometimes. I have now figured out another symptom she shows when she has full anal glands that, uh, need a little help from our veterinary friends to get expressed. She will have more trouble pooping. She never used to have trouble, but this winter, she started straining, having trouble, and doing the walk ‘n’ poop, which is no fun at all. I eventually noticed the chewing, which I have learned also means she needs them done, so took her in, and boy did she need them done. Then, when we came home, she immediately was able to do both types of business with a speed that I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks. It was then that I thought about how long she had been showing some troubles going. I just assumed it was because we weren’t getting out as much on the colder days and that was how it was showing itself, but now I think it had more to do with those nasty glands. I really need to learn how to express them myself. When I got her bathed last time, I asked at the end, and the groomer chick said she didn’t have time right then, but she’d show me next time.
Whenever I think about this, I giggle. Steve mentioned our trip to Moxie’s. While we were there, Trixie must have been feeling quite relaxed. Why? Because in a crowded, noisy restaurant, she had a dream under the table, complete with her little yips. Steve had just gone to the john, and while he was gone, I could feel the harness hitting my feet as if she was twitching, and then I heard it. Yip! Yip! Yip! Nobody else heard it, but I had to giggle.
Ok, why do I always have to end these things with the eyebrow-raising things people do? Oh well, These all happened yesterday, so I figured I’d write them down.
After my trip around the mall, I was waiting inside the double entrance to the mall near where the buses come. A girl and I were having a nice conversation, heavy on the dog talk. I got Trixie to sit, at which point I noticed my companion’s tone of voice take on a sort of cooing quality. “She’s so obedient,” she cooed…and then, flash, I saw white moving over black, white fingers moving over black fur. I also felt the slight pressure, and Trixie extending her head towards the hand. Busted! I told her to please not pet the dog when the harness is on. The girl took a step back, and her whole attitude changed. Thinking that maybe she didn’t understand why I would tell her not to pet the dog, I explained the whole rationale of petting the dog making them get distracted and seek out people instead of doing their job. I told her that I could take the harness off and let her pet Trix if she wanted. But she said “no, don’t worry.” I asked her if she understood, and I said I’m not doing this to be a mean old woman keeping Trix all to myself, at which point she said, “I know, I see the pups in training all the time.”
This made me unspeakably angry, but I managed to hold it back and only say “Then you know you shouldn’t have been petting the dog.” In my head, there was a sea of rage. Now it’s not about lack of knowledge of what the dogs do, it’s about lack of respect for me. She thought maybe she could sneak a pet in, or my safety and wishes didn’t matter enough to her to keep her goddamn hands off.
I noticed that from there on out, very few words were spoken, which made a whole new set of feelings go through me for a second. She only wanted to talk to me because of the dog. I know the dog starts a conversation, but I’d like to think that once it gets going, I’m not so boring that the dog is required to keep it going.
Then, after she left to catch her bus, a man sauntered through the double entrance, walked up to us, and immediately started stroking Trixie on the chin. “hello puppy.” he said. I stopped him and said “Please don’t pet the dog.” and all he said was “ok.” and walked off. Most people, when I stop them from petting the dog, actually talk to me for a second afterwards. Nope, he was only there to pet the puppy.
And this one was the funniest of all. I was going out to tutor that guy, and I came up to the busy corner where I was nearly killed by a dumbass driver. So, I wanted to make sure we were both on our game before we set off. I could tell that Trixie was not on her game. I did a bit of obedience and heeled her away from the corner, made her re-approach it, and she was still a bit off kilter. At this instant, a girl walked past and said “She’s looking at my dog. I’ll try and get out of your way.” and scooted off. I hate when that happens, because my dog should not be causing other people to go out of their way to accommodate her. If their dog is acting like a toolbag, then by all means, take the long way around because your dog can’t handle it. But my dog should not be the cause of another person taking the long way around.
The next thing I knew, Trixie was still wigging out, and tried to turn around. I made her sit down, and a girl I know appeared. She said “You know why your dog is acting funny? Because that girl just walked past you with her dog. How ignorant of her, walking past you with her dog.” I tried to explain to her that my dog should be able to ignore dogs, and the girl with the dog should be able to walk past us without incident. The girl decided she needed to help me across the street, so I said whatever. The light turned for us, at which point she said, “Let’s go Alaska. Yeah, I have my boyfriend’s dog with me.” All I could think was “by your logic, you’re double ignorant, approaching me and crossing a busy street with me with a dog!” I think I should start calling this girl Pot because she’s certainly calling the kettle black.
And that’s about it for the Trixie tidbits. Life is pretty ordinary right now.