This year's Open House fund raiser was pirate themed, which is right up my alley, so I'd been looking forward to the festivities since Truman's arrival. Unfortunately, Truman and I had just had a few of our more "challenging" days together, so my patience had worn a bit thin by the time we even arrived at the school...but seriously, look at that face. You just can't stay frustrated for too long. I just love that little stinker.
Thankfully, the South Bay raisers -- as keepers of the Puppy Kissing Booth, which is billed in the annual program as the world's cheapest therapy at $1 per puppy kiss -- had a nice spot where we all congregated, and there were a few wise folks who had brought kennels. Truman got a few time-outs, and I was able to walk away for a bit and do the necessary things (like eat lunch and use the restroom) unfettered.
There's always a do-it-yourself photo op at the event, and this year's backdrop was a super cool pirate ship playhouse that one lucky person got to take home as a silent auction prize. Near the ship was a bag of dress-up goodies, but I didn't have the heart to put anything complicated on either of us, so we made do with hats. Truman was surprisingly compliant. So here's me, sailing the seven seas with my cabin boy. Arrrf, mateys!
For all the cool piratey decor, I didn't spy anything entitled "Davy Bones' Locker," which was a missed opportunity, if you ask me. Maybe I should volunteer for the planning committee next time.
For all Truman's "I'm the Dude" attitude (and occasional attempts at mutiny in the at-home pack order), he is actually quite an obedient and intelligent dog. He "sits" and "downs" with surprising consistency and quickness, and even his formal "come" command is...well, coming along. However, I had wisely set low expectations for the puppy trials. This environment, after all, is just about the ultimate test of attention span for a little furball of only five months. They don't call the GDA campus "Doggy Disneyland" for nothing, and the added excitement of hundreds of people and dogs, people in funny hats, the smells of tri-tip barbecue...heck, these things distract ME.
So the little man was kind of a spaz, but -- like Lomax last year -- primarily in the things that he seems to have mastered at home, treating the strangest of tasks like they're daily events. Sit and down? Joining me as I sit in a chair at a restaurant table? No way. Too much going on. Didn't hear a word you just said, woman. Getting on the pirate van? Walking past the goats and llamas? No problem. What llamas?
It's all a mystery. My roomie took a hilarious series of photos, practically each one showing Truman in a state of utterly joyous disobedience. She managed to not, somehow, capture his finest moments. But here's my favorite shot of Truman, who will walk on grates, rocks, woodchips, and just about anything shy of hot coals when we're at home...but could not possibly resist the siren song of the styrofoam popcorn:
It is most telling when one of the trainers acting as a course judge laughs and says to you, "That's okay -- he gets extra points for cuteness."
Though we didn't win any fancy ribbons, I'm proud of how he handled the whole day (only occasionally lunging, and rarely "vocalizing," and generally being his fearless, exuberant self), and we are both very proud of all the South Bay dogs and other friends who placed, including Truman's sister Tori, who took second place in our category.
The boy earned his grog. Drink up, me puppies, yo ho!
Of the six GDA pups in Truman's litter, five of us were in attendance. Unfortunately, Thatcher wasn't there, and we didn't get Tori in time for the following photo. But here, along with the little yellow pirate, are Trooper, Tia and Tai: Truman's littermate(y)s.