Talos has been a social butterfly this week. Tuesday he was at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce early morning networking meeting, yesterday he had lunch with my husband and me at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, then today he went to Cafe Nola in Frederick, MD to a local TweetUp. His social calendar has been quite full!
Which is a good thing, really. I mean, after all, much of his training, especially at his age, is about socialization and habituation. He needs to have a variety of experiences. And have that often. So much of my calendar is spent lining up experiences for Talos. It's fun, but it's also work. I'm training him the entire time. While the casual observer might not notice the training happening, in reality it's happening every single minute we're together.
This morning's TweetUp is a great example. We parked in a parking garage – that was his first new experience of the day. Parking garages look funny if you've never seen them. And if you're a dog. They're loud. They echo. There are different levels. There are stairwells that are outdoors. Great experience for a dog in training.
Then out on the streets of downtown Frederick, there are also lots of new experiences. Traffic. Grates. Crosswalks. People with umbrellas (it was raining this morning). Trucks. Delivery men with carts full of goods. Hustle and bustle. Smells everywhere and no grass – an odd experience for a dog, I'll bet!
Then we get to Cafe Nola and go inside. Where there's lots of food. (Keep in mind, Talos is getting bigger by the minute. His head can easily reach a table top now and he's just 5 months old.) And there are also lots of curious people. People who simply aren't used to seeing a dog in a cafe. Especially a big (giant!) puppy with ice blue eyes, and who has the exact markings as a cow. It's quite a shocker, I do believe.
People want to pet Talos. They want to ask questions about him. I welcome all of this as this helps Talos learn lots of skills such as: (1) Self control; (2) appropriate people greetings; (3) people are nice and kind; (4) sitting is a good thing; and (5) treats come from me…not off the tables!
I forgot my camera, unfortunately. I would have loved to post pictures here of our visit and some of the things we saw. Next time, I promise. So if you see us out in downtown Frederick, stop and say Hi. Talos can always have a few more lessons.