FLD Gus balks at getting out of the van. It's his after-dinner-crap-out-in-Gypsy's-bed time, and we're making him go Christmas shopping with us instead.
Come on, Gus, let's go! I encourage with my very bestest "we are going to have soooo much fun (if you'll only get out of the van)" voice. At last. He does. Good boy, Gus!
FLD Gus lags through Sam's Club as we wander the aisles looking for ideas for our "white elephant" gift exchange with the Andersens. Andy's kids have shared in this bit before, but this will be the first year he and I are part of the action.
What is a "white elephant" gift exchange? We all buy and wrap a silly generic $15 gift; all the gifts go in a pile, then the first person picks one and opens it. The next person can either "steal" the first gift, or select another one to open; then the next person can "steal" either of the first two, or select another one; and on around. A gift can only be "stolen" two times; then it stays with that person. Sounds like we'll have fun with this!
FLD Gus, on the other hand, is not interested in games, or turning down aisle after aisle. I tap my leg and say Gus, right (or left) at each turn. He ducks his head and looks up at me, revealing half-moons below his eyes. I know, Gus, we're keeping you up. Come on, let's go! At the checkout line, Gus slides into a down each time we inch forward. He perks up when we make the last turn for the door.
Don't get too relaxed, I tell him as he jumps into the van. We're going to Target next!
When we arrive, I have to coax him out of the van again, but once inside the brightly lit store he bounces along at a livelier pace. Maybe it's us...we know what we want here and take care of business right away, no meandering up and down aisles.
Wait a minute, I say to Andy as we're heading to check out. I want to look at something. I turn down the pet aisle and pause to check out the dog beds piled up on the shelves. Out of the blue an excited BARK erupts from mild-mannered FLD Gus and he's raring to go. What was that about!?
Andy is laughing behind us. "He wants to curl up in that bed right there!" I look where he's gesturing--on the lower shelf there is a very nice bed to fit in a large crate, and Gus is on point. I reach down, take the bed off the shelf and place it on the floor. Gus dives on it, but I pull him off when he goes for the price tag. Ok, let's go home, I say. Gus, heel.
FLD Gus has other ideas--shopping is suddenly fun after all! With some persuasion, Gus heels regretfully away from the dog beds, but at the turn his legs lock and his feet slide askew on the slippery floor. Oh no, it's the dog food aisle!
TONIGHT'S LESSON: When you take your Future Leader Dog puppy Christmas shopping, stay away from the pet section!