Friday, August 16, 2013

Vacation hobby: dog collecting

Here's what happens on vacations: while I'm woofing it up at the pet hotel, my family is pining after me, looking for any excuse whatsoever to brag about my finer points.

So when they saw this basset hound lounging on the dock in Bass Harbor, Maine, they chatted up the owners and fawned over the pup so much they almost missed the boat—literally.

Otis, of Portland, Maine: a bit sleepy from being dragged around during vaca.
Turns out that Otis and I share some grand hound characteristics: hating to go out in the rain, loving to tease our owners when we finally do. Here's a trick Otis and I both employ: refuse to go out, then wake up your mother in the middle of the night, run out in the pouring rain, and refuse to come in. This trick involves Mom learning to come after you with a leash to bring you inside. The key is to train the parent into coming after you with the leash. Do not move a muscle until she does so. Up the ante by hiding somewhere in the bushes so she has to search for you with a flashlight.

Here's another trick from Seiner, a dog in Southwest Harbor.
Seiner stays perfectly still in an uncomfortable-looking pose until
one rubs his belly. Like a model, he'll pose until you finally get the idea.
Seiner plops down in the middle of his busy shop, Under the Dogwood Tree, and stays so still that the owner says people sometimes check to see if he is still alive. That's the idea: capture attention. If he doesn't get it, Seiner will try a different pose. I need to learn this trick. It's the opposite of my hide and seek routine, Where's Tucker?, so it will be challenging for my parents.

While Otis' owners were wondering just why they had taken him on vaca, my family planned this trip knowing full well I was not welcome at their vaca stay, which has a cat as a mascot. Otherwise, no pets allowed at the Seawall Motel. Still, my folks highly recommend it.

Here's a photo of Speed Bump, who on first meeting, was plopped on the sidewalk living up to his name. A sign alerted them to slow down, which they did the whole time they were in Maine. After all, that's the point of vaca, no?
Speed Bump in an uncharacteristic upright position.