We did our second "shift" at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show today, at the Steel City Greyhounds booth. Argos did very, very well (as did Bobbi Jo, his "partner" for the morning.) Crowds were charmed, and at least some of them seemed to be seriously considering adopting one of these noble dogs. As seems to happen every year, this last weekend of the home and garden show coincided with the city's large St. Patrick's Day parade. Which meant that the parade was starting right when we were supposed to start our shift.
Jeff dropped Argos and I off a few blocks away and we walked to the convention center. Of course this took us right along the parade route, where onlookers were starting to stake out their places. We could hear bands and bagpipes in the distance. It was really a very festive atmosphere, and I wish that we could have lingered instead of rushing on!
Here are some of my observations from the day, not just from the show and the parade. Mostly because I am feeling woozy and tired, so my brain is taking some strange neurological pathways.
1. Irish Wolfhounds are freaking enormous! I've read plenty about them online, even follow a blog or two that prominently features one, but there was one all ready to walk in the parade today... he was lying stretched out on the sidewalk, and I thought he was large. Then he saw me approaching with Argos, and stood up... and up... and up. I swear he could look me in the eyes! I'm not a very tall person - just 5' 3", but wow.
2. Sparrows are much more bad-ass than I ever gave them credit for. One landed on Argos's head, much to his consternation and displeasure.
3. Pittsburgh had this bizarre mythical, mystical, whatever, ball of light in the sky today. I hear rumors that other places see more of this ball of light, but it felt very warm and pleasant, and melted all of the snow that seems to keep insisting on falling.
4. Dogs really, really bring out the best in people. I'm pretty sure that some of the people I've encountered out and about with my dog open up to me in ways that they'd never dream of if I was alone.
5. It doesn't matter that my cats really don't want to go outside, that doesn't stop them from REALLY getting excited when I open the windows. I have cat noses smashed against every screen in the house, sucking in the fresh air.
6. I have finally stumbled on the best way to train Argos to obediently lie down in the car as soon as I tell him to, not whenever he feels like it: take him to the home show and make him exhausted first. I've never seen a more sedate car rider.
7. Bagpipes are scary, at least if you ask one specific canine. Though I noticed that the Irish Wolfhound didn't seem to be bothered by them.
8. Cats do not care if you have had an exhausting day and really only want to take a nap. You are there for THEIR pleasure, so wake the heck up and start with the petting.
9. There are some smart, smart kids out there. There was a young boy who informed me that "Argos" in mythology had one thousand eyes. He seemed very pleased that we had actually named him after the dog that belonged to Odysseus, after I explained where he fit into the story (he was familiar with Odysseus and his entire voyage, but had forgotten about the faithful hound. I'm pretty sure that this geek got some "cool points" with the kid for knowing that.)
10. It feels about how you would imagine to be awakened from the sleep of the dead by a raspy kitty tongue on the bottom of your foot.