Monday, July 03, 2006

One in a million...

Remember the local car dealership chain that Kinsey has done a few commercials for?

Last weekend there was a huge 4th of July festival and they are the fireworks sponsor for it. And they wanted the mascot (aka Kinsey) to make an appearance and "press the flesh" so to speak.

We weren't there all day - they just wanted her to visit with the public for a few hours in the afternoon then make a quick appearance on stage.

It may not sound like much, but there were a lot of difficult bits to it and let me tell you that Kinsey was freaking AWESOME!!
First of all, they picked us up in the parking lot in a gas powered golf cart - she's never even seen one before and barely had room and it was like riding a bumpy noisy lawn mower. But no sweat - she climbed on board like a champ. As we rode through the crowd toward their booth (this was a HUGE festival/concert and it was on a huge property) she practically waved to the crowd! :-)
They had a pop-up tent so we had shade and were cool enough, but I'm not kidding about a zillion people stopped by and petted her - fortuanely she thoroughly enjoyed it!
About the time I figured her hair would all be rubbed off they took us back (another golf cart ride) to the "green room" and then to the big stage.
I've never been behind the scenes at a big concert and have never seen a big stage set up. It was HUGE and the only way up onto it was - apparently - via very steep, open backed metal stairs. More like a ladder than a staircase. I about had an attack when I saw it... I was thinking "how are we going to carry this 100 lb. dog up those stairs" but I shouldn't have worried. Kinsey didn't even give the stairs a second glance - just went right up without hesitation.

If you don't have dogs - especially big dogs - you may not realize how significant that was in itself. She'd been great all day but there are lots of friendly, very well socialized dogs who can handle big crowds with aplomb. But those stairs!! Open backed stairs are usually pretty scary for dogs, and these had narrow metal treads and were very, very steep. Even with her agility background (which I'm sure really helped her confidence with something like this) it was absolutely amazing that she'd climb them so calmly.

And it wasn't over, not by a long shot! Once on the stage we waited in the wings while a band finished playing. As they went into their finale it was UNBELIEVABLY loud - worse than any loud nightclub I've ever been to. Forget about screaming into someone's ear to make yourself heard, you just had to rely on lip reading and sign language. The whole structure was vibrating with the sound of it. It hurt my ears, I figured it had to hurt Kinsey's. I held my hands over her ears but she was howling - I've never heard her howl before!! But fortunately it was soon over. And although she didn't like the loud noise, she wasn't freaked out at all - very calm and still greeting anyone who paid her any attention.

When they introduced her the crowd made a lot of noise too!! Over 200,000 people they said. Again, she acted like she did this sort of thing every day and trotted out on stage, did her little speak thing (there's a little routine the mascot does), and it was over. Back down the scary metal stair which actually bothered me a lot more than her - dang it was steep!! But again she didn't hesitate, just went right down like she did it every day. What a trouper!! What a GOOD girl!!
What a one in a million dog!!