So anyway, Mandy and I headed to the pet expo this morning. No sooner had we gotten through the doors at the expo center than Mandy began to have an out-of-body experience. I guess the crowds really stressed her out, and I hadn't anticipated that. There were dogs and people everywhere. There was a German Shepherd rescue across the aisle and even though Mandy is great with other dogs, she made some "do you wanna piece of this?" gestures to those Shepherds. It IS a lot to ask of a dog, to stand at a booth all day while strangers pet you and accuse of having a penis. ("Hey, boy!" they kept saying to her.)
All morning long, Mandy pulled on her leash and panted and barked and just generally carried on in a way that doesn't directly translate into, "Adopt me!" At a nearby booth there were a couple of ladies selling essential oils. I asked them if they had something to help Mandy and calm her down. I was thinking of something along the lines of a joint to mellow her out. But I didn't see anything like that on their display table. Instead, they asked me to bring her over and then they rubbed lavender on Mandy's ears. And some other stuff. I didn't care if she smelled like a French whore for the rest of the day - I just wanted some help for her. I didn't really ask any questions about all the stuff they were dabbing on her, because Mandy was spinning like a carnival ride and kicked over two full bowls of drinking water.
Believe it or not, I think the essential oils did take the edge off. Lots of people were coming by and wanted to meet Mandy, so I started inviting them behind the table to pet her (instead of bringing her out into the aisle where those blasted Shepherds were). And she started to improve . . . maybe not a dramatic improvement, but an improvement nonetheless. I kept telling everyone, "She's very easygoing at home, I swear!" And it's true. She is one of the easiest foster dogs I've ever had (and I've been doing this for a long time). She's housebroken, she eats well, she is good with my kid, and she gets along great with my dogs. She doesn't tear stuff up. She seldom barks. On one hand I'm anxious to find her a good home and on the other hand I don't mind too much if she hangs around, since there is always that chance that my next foster dog will be the type who eats his own poo.
Eventually Kathy arrived at the expo with one of her foster dogs, so Mandy and I blew that popstand. Hell, I don't think we could afford to stay too much longer - they were charging $3.50 for water at the concession stand. We held out long enough to make sure there was another dog there for people to meet. I do think it was a good day for the rescue, though. Even though Mandy wasn't quite the showgirl I'd hoped she'd be, we still had a lot of people stopping by and purchasing t-shirts and stuff. I didn't feel like it was a wasted trip, since I got to hang out with my homies.