The littles and I had a fantastic time at the Phoenix Pet Expo yesterday. I spoke to several companies I was really excited about. Overall, I'm so happy to see the pet industry taking a more natural route. I learned more about products I'd seen before and got to speak to knowledgeable entrepreneurs about brand-new concepts. And, of course, we got to "dog watch," which is one of the best parts of going to the expo. There were majestic horse-like creatures (one we saw even had a saddle), scroungy little rat-like cuties, and everything in between. Some exhibited how well-trained they could be in such a chaotic environment. And some others...not so much.
I know you can bring your dog to the pet expo, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should. I left N.A.S.H.A. home because it would have been selfish to bring her. She's gets pretty nervous in crowds, so she seems to attract dominant dogs, which only makes her more nervous. Sure, it would have been a blast to bring her and let her sample the new natural treats and try on tu-tus, but that would have been for us, not for her. She was much happier taking her siesta at home on the couch. I hate to dwell on the negative, but here are ten other dogs I saw at the expo that should have stayed home.
the darter on a long leash–I didn't come here to get clotheslined. Rein it in.
the guy who was pissing on everything–And I mean everything. I've manned booths at pet-friendly events, and I always wonder why you allow your dog to lift his leg on the table cloth upon which I am displaying my information. Or worse, yet, on someone's leg. Yes, that happened yesterday.
the one who attacked another dog–The mobile veterinarian told me about this one. She attended the event to provide information and show off her complete office-on-wheels. She didn't bargain for severe wound care, but thank goodness she was there.
the one taking all the samples–It's simple sample etiquette. One sample per person. Not all dogs get that. Shame on the pet parent who thought it was cute to allow your pooch to devour the entire bowl of samples.
the one splashing all of the water out of the bowls–It was 104º yesterday. Sure, we were indoors enjoying the AC, but some of those pooches needed a drink. Don't let your dog be an a-hole and knock over all of the beverages.
the two in the stroller who would. not. stop. barking.–I don't like to stereotype based on breed, but you know the type. Little Napoleons brave within the confines of their screened-in box on wheels. I mean, seriously. I'm trying to have a conversation with someone, and there they are...yap, yip, yap, yip, yap, yip, yap, yip, and so on. I don't even know how they kept up their oxygen levels. And the owner did nothing. Perhaps he was deaf.
the one who was jumping on all the kids–To be fair, he was probably jumping on everyone, but I noticed the kids because I saw two of them go down.
the one who was cowering–It's just cruel. Why don't you leave the poor dear home where she's comfortable?
the one who was aggressively lunging at every other dog–There were a couple of these, actually. I realize that not all dogs get along, and a couple of squabbles are to be expected in such an intense environment, but when there's one that's not getting along with anyone at all...well...perhaps there should be a bouncer at the pet expo.
the one with diarrhea–Sure, maybe it caught you by surprise upon arrival, but maybe it's time to go. Like, now.
I blame the pet parent in each and every case. If you're going to bring your dog into this type of situation, you need to be able to control him, and he should be comfortable. Not all dogs are meant to be placed in a large crowd with lots of other dogs, people, noises, and temptations. It's a shame that so many people are too selfish to recognize that in their own animal.
At any rate, there were still plenty of well-behaved animals to interact with. And I swear I saw a few of them roll their eyes at the dogs that should not have attended the pet expo.