At 3 months, Honey is past her first, most crucial socialization period. Not that we should stop exposing her to new experiences and people. Instead, we have more opportunities than ever. It’s safer now that Honey’s had more of her vaccinations. And she’s old enough to walk more on leash and explore the world on her own.
Yesterday Honey attended her first chariot race. Yep, that’s right. One of the fun things about living in a university town is that there are plenty of young people willing to do just about anything. And creating hours of amusement for those of us who don’t own a television.
Anyway, an energy drink manufacturer sponsored the event which had teams of three racing homemade chariots. It was a perfect puppy socialization opportunity:
- The crowd was light so it wasn’t too much stimulation at one time.
- We were able to set up our picnic away from the most frantic activity giving her a chance to ease in gently.
- Honey got her first chance to hear cheering crowds and an air horn?! Which surprisingly, didn’t even faze her.
- Plus she got what she usually does when we go out, lots of “awwww, can I pet your puppy?”
Finally, we got to expose her to a new mode of transportation: our Doggy Ride bike trailer (I’ll try to post some pix of Honey in the trailer soon; we were so busy loading the bikes we forgot to take some). We got the trailer last year. Its dual purpose was to help me haul groceries and other heavy items on my bike and give our dog Shadow, who had cancer, the chance to join us on bike rides (that’s Shadow on the heading of this blog). Shadow, unfortunately/fortunately, didn’t know she had cancer and wanted to run along beside us and sniff, not ride in a cart.
With a new puppy, I saw my chance. The wheels come off the trailer so we used it as a crate in our kitchen. Honey got used to going in and out of it as I placed toys and treats there for her to find.
When we popped her in the trailer to go to the chariot races, we heard only a little whining before she settled down on the cart floor. I suspect that when she’s older, Honey would also rather run freely than be in a cart. But with a wee pup, it’s a great way for us to get some exercise, leave the car at home, and take Honey to new places around town.
The best part of socialization? Honey came home very tired. She went to bed at 8:30 last night and slept through until 6:00 this morning. And I feel pretty well socialized myself. After all, I’d never seen a chariot race either.