Monday, October 19, 2009

Columbus Day on the Hill

We live in a neighborhood in Providence known as Federal Hill (or, the "Hill" as everyone in Rhode Island calls it). Every Columbus Day, they hold the Columbus Day festival, which is a 3 day event. The main street, Atwells Avenue, is shut down for about a mile and a half stretch and is lined with all kinds of vendors, mostly food and alcohol. There are 3 stages - one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end, where live bands play throughout the day and into the night. There's also a small section that has some carnival rides and the usual carnival games. And on Sunday they always have a parade.
The best part about this feast is that our street opens up right into the festival, so we always have a bathroom to use, can go home and change if it gets cold, and during the feast days, if we're hungry, we can just walk right down the street and get a delicious sausage and peppers sandwich (it's also good to go back home to refill our alcohol, lol)! It's becoming a tradition for Chewy and Lilibell to join us on at least one of the days.......well, I should say for Chewy to try to join us, haha! Last year, which was the first year for them, he did not last too long, he kept on bumping into other dogs which of course set him into a frenzy and he was just too darn embarrassing, so he had to go back home.

This year, while I was reluctant to take him, because I knew it would just be a repeat of last year, I wanted to at least try again, I felt bad leaving him home and watching while we all take off (Lilibell included - she's such a quiet little girl at events like this!). I figure that if he at least goes out then has to go home, maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't feel too bad about having to stay at home alone.

It started out good. I got their harnesses on (Chewy needs a special harness, one that he steps into, but the ring for the leash is on a strap that goes across the front of his chest. Why you ask? Because he does not walk normal with a regular harness, he lunges and pulls so bad that it looks like he's walking on his chest! This type of harness corrects this behavior.), then put on their coats as it was quite cool that day, and we were off!
No sooner did we leave our driveway and started heading down the street but what comes walking toward us was a pack of greyhounds!!! I told Steve to make a quick left into the driveway across the street from our house, hoping that that would distract Chewy and he would miss seeing the dogs........alas, it did not work. He saw them and started barking his fool head off, which in turn set Lilibell to barking (she never barks at other dogs, only when she's around her brother....monkey see monkey do!!), then he started lunging and pulling on his leash. After this little episode, we proceeded to the end of our street, where he saw another dog and again started barking his fool head off! That was it, I told Steve he needed to go back home. Which broke my heart, because when I turned around, I could see our house from the end of our street and there was Chewy in the window, but what could we do??

Lilibell, however, was the belle of the feast!
I could not take two steps without someone coming over to us to exclaim how adorable she was and could they pet her! While I don't really mind the attention, and I'm sure she doesn't mind it at all, it does get tiring after a while.

After a little while, Steve and I both went back home to use the bathroom, and Steve decided to try Chewy again. This time, we decided to walk around the back of the block, hoping that Chewy would walk off some steam before going back to the crowds. Well, this time he lasted a bit longer, about 10 minutes! He saw a dog, but didn't really pitch a fit, just sat there and growled at him.
In this picture, he is not a happy camper - he can catch glimpses of a dog, so he's growling underneath his breath.
I walked across the street with Lilibell to get something to drink, and when I came back there's Steve holding Chewy with his harness and coat off!! That little runt pitched a fit so bad that in his frenzy he got himself out of the coat and the harness!! That was it, back to home he went for the rest of the day.

Chewy, Chewy, Chewy, what are we going to do with you???



Dip-Dip and The Bridge said...

Ohhh. If only you could reason with dogs! Bridge is just the same sometimes, she gets herself into such a state. Glad you enjoyed the festival anyway. Those are really nice pics of you both with the furkids!

Cocorue said...

that sounded like fun.....the carnival that is
and not fun....where mr Chewy's part is concerned

i guess he just does not like being with other doggies and it's funny how biiiig they really think they are....trying to take on the pack of greyhounds ha

little ms Lilibell, the belle of any functions bol....


Tiffany and the Munchkins said...

That sweet face makes up for it all though doesn't it??!! I just love him. And what a good girl Lilibell was. You go girl! I wish Lexi was okay around other dogs. She is okay at events as long as she is up in my arms and they don't get too close. She doesn't mind the little ones so much as she does the big ones. I think the exposure was good for Chewy though. The more exposure you give him to these situations the more desensitized he will become. At least, that's what we are hoping so Lexi will chill out!

Nadine said...

Tiffany, the more exposure thing does not work at all with him! Yesterday, on our walk around the neighborhood, he pitched a fit at least 3 times, and one time was at a dog who was across the busy street!!!

Twix said...

Chewy, don't you worry about what these humans are saying. It is your job to protect them whether they like it or not! I bark at dogs that are blocks away....if I can see 'em they are in my territory, right? I am the queen around these parts and no dog shall enter without my approval. And I know it is the same for you (well, you would be the king unless you are wearing Lillibell's dresses)