BlogPaws certainly was an exciting few days and they certainly put on the dog for the dogs! They set up a dog park at the hotel so the dogs could get some fresh air and socialize without being on a leash. There were fabulous volunteers who took care of the dogs and made sure they were safely inside the fence. Considering the temporary nature of the fence and the proximity to the heavy traffic speeding along Leesburg Pike, I was very grateful for the close eye the volunteers kept on the sweet babies.
I didn’t visit the dog park until Friday at lunch when I realized I had not been outside since I arrived Wednesday afternoon. Just like the dogs, humans need fresh air, too! The dogs all got along well, even when one stole another’s Frisbee.
Dogs were everywhere, checking into the hotel:
Snoozing while the humans had a cocktail in the hotel lounge; I have no idea who owned the derrieres in the following picture, but one of them has a puppy at home named Dudley.
Debbie Jacobs, a certified animal trainer and creator of the Fearful Dogs website, lead an excellent session about dog behavior and some of the myths associated with their behavior. When I described myself on my business card as a blogger and “alpha dog” I knew I was fibbing about the alpha dog part (the dogs always ruled this roost, I just pay the bills) but I didn’t realize it was because there is a great deal of science that suggests that even though dogs and wolves share an ancestor from long ago, dogs are not pack animals and don’t seek out a dominant status in the home. She is also a huge advocate of positive reinforcement training where the human rewards the dog for good behavior instead of punishing the dog for bad behavior. All of us respond better when someone tells us what we are doing that is right than when they tear us apart for what we do wrong. Same thing for dogs, cats, dolphins and I imagine any other animal.
“Dogs have more love than integrity. They’ve been true to us, yes, but they haven’t been true to themselves.” ~ Clarence Day