Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Fest

I got to go to the 20th Anniversary Pumpkin Fest in Keene New Hampshire. It was so much fun, though I just simply don't understand why I wasn't able to sample one of the 22,949 pumpkins. Is that asking for too much? Over to the left is a particularly tasty looking pumpkin at least to me!). Below that is a pumpkin that got to eat another pumpkin (so unfair!). Even though I didn't get a taste of it, I did manage to snag myself a half a hamburger that was discarded in a pile of leaves along with a donut of unknown flavor. 

I was a super well behaved dog. Good thing too, as unbeknown to the human, there were no dogs allowed! On one level, it makes sense that there are no dogs allowed. Many humans don't take time to properly socialize dogs: if everyone brought their dog it could become a very unsafe situation. Many humans also have this habit of not paying attention to what is going on around them and their dog which also can cause an unsafe situation. That's not so good either. Then of course there is the poop. I'd pick my own poop up if I had opposable thumbs, but since I don't I depend on the human. Why do some humans have so many problems with that?

Still, despite the human being a lawless individual who brazenly broke the ordinances of the city of Keene, this was a great opportunity to show off my confidence. I was pet, rubbed, ogled, and otherwise adored by the hordes of humans who were roaming around the downtown city streets. I even got to meet a few dogs (those little criminals!) and had a lovely time licking a particular law enforcement professional who I decided I wanted to greet.

How come I had such a good time? Socialization and past positive experiences. Since the day I left my foster home when I was just a few weeks old I was exposed on a consistent basis to new and novel situations. The human took me to cities, the country, farms, malls, on elevator rides, car rides, escalator rides, etc. I had fun positive experiences with all of these things. My favorite of all was when we would sit in Harvard Square or inside the subway station and crowds of people would gather around me petting me.
The human made sure I was safe. He made sure that as soon as I showed signs of being tired or becoming afraid he'd reduce the degree of stimulus. Over time, these experiences transformed me from a shy puppy into a confident dog who can (with supervision) safely handle situations like the Keene Pumpkin Fest.

You can learn more about socialization here, here, or here. You might also want to check out some of my earlier post about my own socialization.

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