When I first took Tommy in, I quickly learned he had major issues. I had no idea of the challenges ahead of me and how Tommy would totally take over my life. I’ll write about many stories over time, but for now I just want to mention a trainer, Janine Pierce of J9's K9s, who, when I told her I was thinking of finding Tommy a new home, suggested I keep a daily mood calendar, using simple smiley faces or frowns to mark the good days and the bad. The idea was that I would eventually, hopefully, see that the good outweighed the bad.
I never did keep a mood calendar nor did I find Tommy a new home, obviously (although I did make a lukewarm attempt to do so—more on that later).
This weekend was a mixed bag. Here are the highlights, both good and bad:
As I drove up Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena Saturday night, Tommy hung out the back seat window, his front paws on the armrest so that his chest bulged out into the breeze. An elderly couple on the side of the road, the man with a cane, stopped walking to watch us drive by. The woman, with a big smile on her face, waved as we passed.
I felt like a one-car parade with the pit bull mayor.
I parked on Poppyfields Drive, and we walked. It was a beautiful night. Twilight stretched longer than usual, the San Gabriel Mountains black against the ever darkening blue night sky.
Somewhere people were singing 60s tunes. I followed the music up to the Farnsworth Park Ampitheatre. A woman at the entrance smiled as we approached and gestured for me to enter. I kind of lingered, not convinced that bringing Tommy in would be a good idea. She came toward us, cooed over Tommy and started to bend down toward him. Bursting with excitement, he tried to lick her feet, to charge into her arms. I held his collar to restrain him.
But not tight enough. Tommy popped out at her face like a snake. She reflexively turned her head so nothing happened, thank god, but it freaked her out. Understandably.
Pit bull in the face? Bad.
Usually I try to explain that Tommy is in training (always), that he needs to be seated and calm before you pet him, but with the music playing and her desire to pet him even after seeing how wound up he was I thought it would be okay.
Sigh... so much for highlights. I didn't even finish all the points, high and low, of the weekend and now I'm too tired to continue. Stay tuned for more...