Melissa had many firsts in Kentucky...not first place ribbons, but first time experiences.
1) First time to spend a week in a hotel.......previously our longest stay was 3 days. I took along favorite toys to keep her interest and surprised her with a few new ones. Along with walking many many miles during the week, meeting new people and seeing new sights, Melissa was kept well occupied.
2) First time to hear music radiating through ballroom speakers as Borzoi Club of America Regional Director Ron Williams sang the National Anthem each morning. She lay at my feet as we all stood, I tossed treats between her elbows to help her stay in the down position...and in hopes of keeping her from joining in with Ron.
3) First time to ride an elevator..... well sort of. She did ride in an elevator when she was 10 weeks old, but she was in my arms. At 80 plus pounds that was not going to be repeated this time. We had the option of stairs, but if you have been reading about Melissa's adventures for the past 7 months you now know that I take every opportunity to expose Melissa to something new and different. All in preparation for her future work as a pet therapy dog as well as being a life long family companion who will be comfortable everyplace she goes. I wonder what dogs must think....enter a small room from one large room and exit into a totally different room. Plus elevators can make your stomach flip-flop. I made sure I had lots of treats.....I fed one treat after another as the elevator ascended, making a pleasant association to the possible flip-flop of her stomach. Melissa never took notice of the elevator moving. She just kept eating the treats. She exited onto a different floor and resumed life as usual.
4) First time to show on ballroom carpeting. I practiced the day before so Melissa would be accustomed to the feel and the visual pattern. Some dogs like to jump over the geometric designs. I liked running on it, smoother then some grassy rings. Melissa didn't seem to notice, she showed very well and placed second in both of her classes.
5) First time sharing ice cream. On our last night in Kentucky, my friend Margie and I walked to the ice cream store close to the hotel. The dogs, of course, accompanied us. A sundae for Margie, a sundae for me and a dish of vanilla for the dogs. We found a place in the shade and ate. Lab Lucy ate in Lab fashion, she took chunks of ice cream from the dish. Melissa is a good eater, I like watching her eat. She enjoys all food. Ice cream was added to her list. She licked daintily, never gulping. And if I may do a little anthropomorphizing, the look on her face was of pure enjoyment. More ice cream is in her future!