This was it. Bagel’s first day out around town!
Aside from taking him out for breakfast and to get microchipped, he hadn’t really been out in public with us and exposed to much activity yet so we decided Christmas Eve was his day.
Burgers + Beer
Into the car we went, and after several car rides to the vet, and on errands with us, he was a pro at riding in the car already.
First up - lunch! STATION TAVERN was our pick for their outdoor dog-friendly, family-oriented ambience (and not to mention their super solid selection of burgers and lineup of beer). We got there a little bit early, so this gave us a chance to people watch with Bagel and get him used to the passersby’s.
He was so excited at first, we thought he’d never calm down but after a few minutes he eventually got the hang of it. Things that totally trigger him: anything with wheels!
Once inside, we found a nice spot to settle down in. It was quiet at first since we were the first and only people there, and as other people, dogs, and (his favorite) squeaky little children began rolling in, he got more and more excited but eventually got used to them altogether. Overall, he did a great job as he eventually got desensitized to the whole environment.
We rewarded him with plenty of treats whenever he’d settle down, and only quietly ‘boff boff’d at the other dogs.
When our food came, he pointed his nose to the air and sniffed with all the power in his lungs but was a good boye and waited patiently for scraps to fall. Unfortunately, he never landed any scraps of our delicious food, but held out obediently just in case. No barking, no freaking out - just very good boy manners, even when children would pass by to grab water from the communal station and point at him yelling “PUPPY!”.
A very well-behaved boy, that is, until a stroller entered the picture. :P Take a peeping infant and put it on wheels and you’ve got something that’ll knock him off his rocker. At that point, we’d just finished our beers and it was time to go, so off we went - onto our next adventure!
Potty break first.
This was going to be the real test.
Hordes of people tackle BALBOA PARK each day - families, children, cars, instruments, dogs, ducks, tons of new smells, lots of foot traffic, food, and lots of things going on. And… it was Christmas Eve. Everyone and their mama’s were out being festive and enjoying the perfect crisp winter weather we were having. How would Bagel handle one of the most iconic tourist spots in San Diego on the eve of a major holiday?!?
We were lucky enough to snag a parking spot pretty quickly, and on our walk towards the lily pond, Bagel thought it’d be a solid idea to poo before handling the crowds - I don’t blame him. Great idea, Bagel. He chose a very private spot, hidden behind a large bush that was somewhat difficult to get to for cleanup, but thankfully near a trash can. Quite thoughtful.
He walked past a crowd of squealing teenagers.
He sniffed through an echoing hallway.
He trotted down a stairwell littered with other dogs and small puppers the size of my hand (so adorable!).
He stood on the lawn and quietly watched everyone walk by.
He calmly glanced around at ducks on the lily pond without wanting to nosedive into the water to snag them. Instead, he asked for pets from people walking by, and sniffed the succulents that lined the walkway. He loves sniffing succulents, which is what he does on our walks at home as well.
HE WAS SCARED … of the guitar man.
But enjoyed sitting in the shade people watching, and vice versa as many strangers approached us for some pets and pictures.
HE WAS A CHAMP! He took all the pets he could and was such a good boy. He didn’t jump or snarl or show his teeth or anything. Nice, calm, Bagel. We were so proud of him ♥︎
He knocked out on the car ride home after a long day out of many smells and funny people and animals, all big and small.
His nap time continued as we got home, and we all spent a quiet Christmas Eve in the rest of the evening. I guess you could say, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. :)
I know we’re well into 2019 already, but hopefully you all had a great holiday - ours went by like a whirlwind which is why I’m just now catching up on blogging! It was filled with finding a fixed schedule for Bagel, working throughout the season, fighting a cold, getting enough sleep, celebrating birthdays, and of course celebrating the holiday. We’re slowly getting back to normal now that the holidays are over, and a part of me is actually thankful for the normalcy that has returned to the household: the tree is gone (we took it down on the 27th!), our decorations are stowed away, the house is clean and back to normal, and we can re-start and re-establish our usual routine once again. I’m somewhat a creature of habit and when I’m unable to execute myself in the manner in which I organize my chaos, I tend to feel somewhat frenzied which is how my mind has felt the past few weeks!
While life necessitates spontaneity under many circumstances, I truly value normalcy and routine in other aspects of it as well. Thankful for all the nuances that balance this unusual path we traverse, and cheers to 2019 ↟