I know a lot of people were wondering about how Flattery did on our trip to Nashville. Her penchant for mischief made me a little nervous about how she’d do in such a large setting. On top of the usual worries about what she’d get into, she also started working on corn a week before we left, but I couldn’t get it out before we left, so she spent a lot of time hopping around on three feet, which convinced a lot of people that she was some kind of apocalyptic event. The corn may have ended up working in our favor, though, because it meant that she was quick to lie down anytime we stopped somewhere.
The first day there, I had my doubts about the wisdom of bringing her. Mr. Taleteller was the one who suggested bringing her along and I admit, I thought about throttling him for it on more than one occasion. I knew handling one dog would be tough in a large crowd, and two was going to be pushing it. On our first day at the conference, she started making her merry way through the vendor hall, sampling jerky and just basically getting in the way. I felt like every other step I took, I was tripping over her as she darted over to see something else. After twenty minutes of getting just about nowhere, I texted Mr. Taleteller to come and get her, not knowing that he and Küster had gone to a session. He came to get her and took her upstairs to our room to chill out a little while Bunny and I wandered through, finally able to enjoy seeing the different vendor booths and wares.
However, later we gave her another chance to get out and see the sights when we went to Yappy Hour. There were a lot of things to tempt a young dog there, food, cats, ferrets, tall tables and lots of people who wanted to meet her. Flattery was much better behaved this time around. As a matter of fact, in true Flattery fashion, as soon as we found a table to stand at, she laid down right there on the carpet and made herself comfortable. A lot of people recognized both Bunny and Flattery and they were gracious about meeting everyone who approached us. She looked like she was holding court as she stretched out like a regal queen there on the floor. Leave it to Flattery to bring a flair for the dramatic to the occasion, although I have to say that I was amused. I began to relax a little and feel like she might do okay.
The next day was when Bunny and I had our little standoff in the morning. Flattery, Küster and Mr. Taleteller were hanging out in the hotel room because you weren’t supposed to leave dogs alone in the room if a staff person was going to be in your room. You had to be present or you and the dog had to be out of the room, so my husband volunteered to stay there with the Black Dog Contingent. When I came upstairs after the session, it was time for lunch. For some reason, Mr. Taleteller never did trust Küs to go to the dining hall, but his boy was put in his crate while we went down with the girls to lunch. Even though some people there were working hard on undoing all the good manners I’ve tried to teach our dogs, she remained very calm and well-behaved. Once again, she held court from the floor and made herself very comfortable.
By the next day, I felt brave enough to take her to a session with me. Not only was she polite and well-behaved, she completely exceeded my expectations for her behavior. She socialized a little with another dog and a few people sitting near us, but once she laid down, she stayed right where she was. It’s hard to admit it, but she might have been a little better than Bunny. She was very content to lay on the carpet beside me and listen. Bunny wasn’t bad, either, but she definitely wasn’t content to stay on the floor the entire time, and I realize that it might not even be totally comfortable for her, even with the travel bed on the floor. I don’t think too many people even knew that Flattery was there, though, to be quite honest. She was like a little ninja there on the floor.
At the end of the conference, I walked down the red carpet with both of the girls, and Flattery did a great job. She was cool, calm and collected. She ignored most of the things that distracted even me. She didn’t even cut in front of me while I tried to walk without falling in my high-heeled sandals. During the time for mingling before the awards ceremony and dinner, she laid right down and enjoyed party from carpet level. It was so crowded in the dining room, however, that we decided to let the girls hang out in the bedroom. I didn’t want them getting stepped on and squashed through the whole ceremony. I figured it would be easier for us to eat without constantly having to jockey them out of people’s way, too.
Flattery definitely had her moments of mischief, but they were mild as well as few and far between. I would call her first big public outing a huge success, and it makes me pretty excited about what the future will hold for us. The next big thing is here, and her name is Flattery Wins. Watch out, world, here she comes!