It wasn’t my first rodeo. That happened way back when in South Dakota when I was still in utero. Naturally, I didn’t see much, however, so junior rodeo events here in Willcox, Arizona, have been a big part of my winter enjoyment since 2015. It's a big part of the culture of southeast Arizona, where ranch life is still real, and the high school sports teams are the Cowboys and the Cowgirls for good reason.
Of course, we can’t know for absolutely certain that our new little rescue dog has never been to a rodeo before, but it seems like a pretty safe bet. How would he react? With his extreme shyness, I wasn’t sure he’d be getting out of the car at all, what with crowds of people and running horses and bawling calves and all kinds of noise and hubbub -- and especially a gaggle of little children pretending to be puppies and romping up and down the noisy metal ramp to the grandstand and generally having a wonderful time. So much going on! While he was in the car, though, two people came up to the window, and he didn’t freak out, which is big progress, for him.
|So much going on!|
|Rodeo time is happy time!|
So, when the noisy “puppy” brigade cleared out, and things got calmer at our end of the grandstand, I decided to try Peasy on his leash by the rail. Ringside! And he did pretty darn well for his first rodeo! He wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but he sat when I asked him to sit, and he didn’t have anything like a meltdown, just remained wide-eyed and mesmerized.
|A doggie-nosed window|
|Front seat view|
Sorry I don’t have pictures of Peasy by the rail, watching the action. Because I hadn’t been able to handle dog and camera and get pictures of dog all at the same time, I thought we might go back for a second day on Sunday and I could enlist David as photographer, but that will have to wait for the next rodeo, because Sunday turned out to be a different kind of day for our pack....
However – and Lynn is gonna love this! -- a dog trainer I met earlier in yesterday at the feed store, a woman who had three Aussies with her in the store, came out to where she had parked next to us, looked at Peasy, and said, “Oh, yeah, he’s an Aussie, for sure!” I’d told her we’d been going back and forth and that opinions had been divided between Aussie and border collie. (Other dog people have been just as sure that he’s border collie.) Well, the border collie is part of the Aussie’s heritage, so – whatever! He is all dog, there’s no doubt about that!
Having Peasy do as well as he did in new situations on Saturday helped me to feel more optimistic about his future, whatever it turns out to be. He is such a sweet, funny, cute little guy -- but he also has so much to learn that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. He and I might get signed up for some professional lessons sometime soon. I think he's worth it.
|Rodeo time is family time.|
Overnight we had a monster of a storm, winds so strong they sounded like they wanted to tear the roof off the cabin. Along came – what was it? Rain? Hail? Sleet? In the morning there was new snow on the ground, and my first thought was that it must have been a cold morning for cowboy church out at Quail Park. That’s the first Sunday morning event of every weekend junior rodeo, though we seldom arrive before noon ourselves. Peasy and I got outside for my walk and his first run and romp of the day and then came back indoors, where I sewed his bear back together for him and made Valentine muffins for David, and the three of us lay around the shanty, cozy inside while the mountain winds blew, waiting for the sun to break through the clouds again.