Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ashling Goes to the Park and Discovers Toys

After taking a nap this morning to recover from all the craziness of last night, I took Ashling out to Palumbo Park this afternoon. Many of the families that had expressed interest in her had kids, and so I wanted to take her out to a place with children so I could see how she reacted to seeing different ages of kids at play.

She was very interested in the toddlers playing in the Tot Lot (that fenced-in area with the blue matted floor behind her) and tried to approach them several times with relaxed, playful body language. She was interested in the strollers that occasionally rolled past outside the park, too.

Of course, being a dog, she was also really interested in rolling around in the mud and dead leaves (and as a result will have to undergo the Horrible Experience of a bath later today, but that's okay -- I want to see how she reacts to being bathed anyway).

I got an early version of a Sit out of her, too, so hopefully in a couple of days we'll have that somewhat reliably on cue. Behold: Ashling attempting a very tense Sit in an effort to hold her spring-loaded butt down to the ground long enough to get that chicken treat out of my hand., okay, her Sits last about .03 nanoseconds right now, but it's a start.

Then a girl (looked about maybe 12? I don't know, I'm terrible with kids' ages) came over and asked whether she could pet Ashling, so I said "sure!" and asked if I could take her picture as photographic documentation of how this foster dog interacts with children. The girl agreed, and so I gave her some cookies and she in turn gave those cookies to Ashling.

So, yep, I think this dog definitely likes kids.

Afterwards we went back inside and Ashling spent a while sniffing curiously at Dog Mob and being sniffed curiously in return. I showed her some toys and she expressed mild interest in the cloth-covered squeaky toys but didn't seem entirely sure what to do with them.

Luckily, Crookytail was around to help her out, and by dint of ceaseless play-bows and other invitations, finally got her to tentatively try playing with him (and the zombie toy) a little bit. I imagine in a day or two they'll be playing full throttle and our much-battered furniture will sustain a little more abuse.

Also, I got our first Fake Family Portrait with Ashling:

Now everybody is snoozing again.

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