We made it safely to Silver City this afternoon, and are settled in. We’re staying in the same little adobe we had last year for two weeks, and it truly felt like we had come home!
It was wonderful to see my friend, Ellen, who has so generously provided the adobe for a month. We arrived a little earlier than she expected and she wasn’t quite ready for us, so we went off to get groceries.
Downtown Silver City was hopping. Cars crawling along Bullard Street, no place to park, people walking everywhere – in and out of shops and galleries, Girl Scouts selling cookies on street corners. I mean, it was NUTS!
Turns out that it’s an annual chocolate extravaganza, according to Ellen. She says you buy a ticket and wander around town sampling chocolate. She says there are about twenty different venues; you show your ticket and get served chocolate. Wish I had known sooner…
We stopped in Old Mesilla this morning before heading west to Silver City. It’s one of the oldest towns in New Mexico – apparently it was here in some form in the time of the Conquistadors, the Spanish, and so on…
They were hosting a lively fiesta of some sort as well – I think tied into Valentine’s Day. We arrived about 10 minutes before the starter’s pistol for Cupid’s Chase – a road race.
We also saw that NPR’s Story Corps was in town, with a shiny Airstream parked in the plaza. I went over and talked with Anna, who asked if I knew anyone or if I myself wanted to tell a story. I said that I did, but then learned that they are booked up for the next two weeks! I figured I could just walk in and that would be that.
Now that I think about it, I could go back to do it. It’s only a couple of hours from here. H-m-m-m-m…
As we drove into Silver City this afternoon, I spotted Mis Amigos – the place that Ellen told me is owned by a really good dog trainer. She uses clicker training, positive reinforcement – all the things that our great trainer in Maine, Diana Logan, got us started with. And all the same things that I still do with Mr. Max.
So, I pulled in, and as luck would have it, Gail was there. I told her what happened with Max last week, and that I’d like to work with her on good recall, stop and stay commands. We are on for Monday for our first one-on-one with her, and I think Max will have fun. He loves a challenge, loves to “work,” and is a fast learner. More on this later in the week…
After settling in, I took Max for a walkabout in our new ’hood. As we walked a few blocks away, a car ran over a piece of plastic vacuum wand in the street making a huge cracking sound. Poor Max bolted away from the street towards the houses, almost wrenching my shoulder!
I calmed him, and reassured him that it was okay, then walked him over to the plastic. His tail was tightly tucked, and he was skittish for a block or so before his tail came up and he was sauntering comfortably again.
I lived in Portland when I got him as a puppy, and I was happy that he had that experience because loud noises – sirens, fire trucks, car horns – didn’t phase him in the least. This afternoon’s reaction made me realize that he probably learned something from his accident last week.
One other thing I’ve been noticing is that he walks better with me since he got hit. He tends to stay close, not pull on the leash, and keep checking in with eye contact. What a hard lesson for a fine young dog to learn.
As dinnertime approached, I had to acknowledge that I am exhausted. I think I’ve been so focused on getting us safely here, and making sure that he is comfortable, that I didn’t realize the toll it was taking on me. Now that we have stopped moving, the exhaustion has caught up to me.
It’s barely 9 o’clock and I am ready to hit the sack. Max is already sacked out at my feet. The next couple of days will be for R&R (with the exception of the Vet to remove stitches and check over the wounds, and a training session on Monday!).