Monday, September 17, 2012

What a Fantastic Weekend!

Daddy's girls
Justin’s parents are on vacation this week, so we are returning the pet-sitting favor they did for us recently by house-sitting and watching their 16 year-old babies, a Boxer mix named Samantha and their beautiful, black kitty, Salem.  Sam and Margot are staying at the house with us, of course, and it kind of feels like we’re all on a sort of mini-vacation together.  I especially love it for our girls because they love spending time on the screened-in, wrap-around porch (as do I) and in Justin’s parents’ big, fenced-in back yard. 

This past Saturday was one of the nicest Saturday’s we’ve had in a LONG time.  It was the annual Chili Fest, held in downtown Huntington.  Lots of vendors line 3rd Avenue serving various kinds of chili and other local fare (I hate my first funnel cake!), while musicians play in Pullman Square throughout the day.  Between musical performances, there are various contests held, concluding with the big chili contest winner announcement at the end of the evening.  Unfortunately, because I’ve been a wedding photographer for the past eight years, I have only been able to attend one or two Chili Fests because I usually had to shoot a wedding on that day.  So, this year, not only was I excited to be able to attend, but Justin and I decided to take Margot and make this her first big, “official” public outing!

Margot the socialite at Chili Fest.
Mind you, Margot is still not cleared to socialize with other dogs or in public parks for another two and a half weeks, but Chili Fest only comes once a year, and the entire event takes place on paved roads and sidewalks.  Plus, she HAS had the majority of her vaccinations at this point; therefore, we decided to let our guard down just a bit for this one, special occasion (although, even as I’m typing this, I’m cringing at the fact that we took that risk).  Thankfully, Margot hasn’t shown any signs of Parvo or any other health concerns since the Chili Fest, so I think it’s safe to say that she’s going to be fine.  (whew!)
My "kiddos" at Chili Fest!  (Ashley and Margot)
Anyway, I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful Margot was at the Chili Fest.  I let Justin have the honor of walking her because I knew she’d probably receive a ton of attention, and I wanted Justin to be able to enjoy that attention, as well.  And boy, was Margot ever a hit at the Chili Fest!  Justin, Ashley, and I couldn’t walk more than a few feet before someone would stop us and ask if they could pet Margot.  At one point, Justin and Margot literally became surrounded in the middle of the street as we were trying to cross, and I said to Ashley as we stood there waiting, “We should have just set up a booth for Margot!”  I loved watching Justin and Margot receive so much attention, though.  I could tell that Justin enjoyed telling people about her (what breed she is, her age, explaining why her ears aren’t cropped, etc.), and Margot was very impressive in the way she handled all of the attention from so many strangers.  At first, I was afraid that the large crowd might intimidate her and make her a little nervous, but she was calm, curious, and even downright polite to every stranger she met!  Anytime someone extended their hand to pet her, whether it was an adult or a child, Margot simply sat and gladly welcomed their affection.   Justin was especially pleased with how well she behaved with children.  She never got too excited or overly playful, not even with the handful of other dogs she encountered (although, because I was still trying to be at least a little bit cautious, I wouldn’t let Margot do more than just briefly sniff other dogs).  In fact, Margot was so well behaved that several people mistakenly thought she was an adult Miniature Pinscher, and they were shocked to learn that she was only a 13 week-old Doberman puppy.   Yes, I hate to be one of “those mothers,” but I have to say that Margot truly was a perfect little angel that day.  Justin and I are so proud of her. 

The best family midday nap EVER!
When we returned from the Chili Fest, we were all pretty exhausted, and Justin, Sam, Margot, and I all fell asleep on the outdoor porch furniture that afternoon.  It was probably one of the most pleasant, relaxing midday naps I’ve ever had in my life.  The weather was sunny and beautiful, in the mid- to high-70’s, and I loved hearing the leaves rustling on the trees in the back yard whenever a nice, cool breeze blew through.  In fact, napping on the screened-in porch is probably going to be a daily activity for me until Justin’s parents come home, as Sam, Margot, and I enjoyed yet another outdoor midday nap yesterday afternoon, as well. 

Believe it or not, this is a very good thing!
Overall, I honestly can’t remember the last time we enjoyed such a nice weekend.  Sam and Margot both seem very happy, and they have even spent at least several minutes playing together every single day since that first time they played together last week!  Plus, ever since Sam decided to engage in a little daily playtime with Margot, Margot has been much less annoying and demanding of Sam’s attention.  I have jokingly said that Sam has probably just decided that if she can’t beat her, she might as well join her, like, “Okay, little one.  Let’s get this playtime over with so you’ll leave me alone for the rest of the night….”  Of course, I’d rather believe that Margot has successfully managed to bring out Sam’s “inner child” and that Sam actually enjoys their playtime as much as Margot, and I honestly think she does.  You should see the smile on my face whenever those two are playing, too.  To say that it makes me very happy would be quite an understatement.  :)

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