That meant Bilbo and I were flying solo for our walk and I was excited to get out and take advantage of the (finally) beautiful evening and trot around the park with camera in hand.
I've been so proud of his progress recently and I knew that there'd be plenty of people out and about for us to practice our training. He was such a superstar and we ran through lots of commands with dogs and people all over the place. There were even excited dogs playing fetch around the base of the hill as we sat and chilled in the sunshine.
I love the way that the park is so richly put to use. There were families playing by the lake.
While the local wildlife went happily about it's business.
All the time, in the background, we could hear the sounds of music at the Puerto Rican festival drifting across from the other side of the park. It was near idyllic.
As Bilbo continued to put his best foot forward, I decided we'd go over and check it out. As we got closer to the event and it got busier I put him through his paces to see if he was paying attention. Gold stars all round, the boyo was picture perfect. So we walked past the cop and through the gate. Bilbo was a little distracted by the noise but got straight back onto form and posed for some pictures by the stage.
Although it was rather loud there, the foot traffic was pretty low so it seemed like a good spot to start out.
We then headed over towards the stalls planning to loop through and come out the other side of the park opposite our street. As we walked, people even pointed out how well behaved he was!
Billy started to pull a little, prompted by the simultaneous stimulation of tasty smelling food and a gathering of guys who all wanted to know what kind of dog he was. However, as I was fending off their questions and getting him back to heel a big guy in black came over and told me he was park security and I couldn't have a dog at a family festival. If I were to give him the benefit of the doubt I'd say that maybe he'd missed all of Bilbo's good behavior and had just spotted a very strong, excited dog in the hands of a weedy looking chick. I think if he'd said that Bilbo had to be better behaved I would have taken it at face value and left with a cheerful vow to do better. But he didn't. He walked past the guy with the viszla to tell the bully breed to get out.
The event runs through Sunday. If any of my Chicago readers can get their paws on some non-bully breeds and go try their luck I'd be interested to know the outcome. Or maybe a breed ambassador a little further on in their training might want to see whether big square heads are the problem or just excited pups. I mentioned it on my way out to the cop at the gate and he was surprised to learn that "dogs" weren't allowed.
I'd love to say that we left with our dignity and with Bilbo proving that, whatever people may assume from his looks, he's the perfect breed ambassador. Unfortunately my boy doesn't approve of discrimination and he's got just enough teenager in him to make sure everyone knows it. As the security guard loomed over me (seriously, heard of a little concept called personal space?) and reached the end of his lecture, Billy knocked over a trash can...
|What twinkle in the eye? I'm a perfect angel!|