Friday, February 17, 2012

Dog-friendly Atlantic City, Part 3: The Ridiculous

today i finally have the final installment of my little series, Dog-friendly Atlantic City: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous.

if you missed Part 1: The Good, you can catch up here. if you missed Part 2: The Bad, you can catch up here.

The Ridiculous

i don't think there were too many other dogs staying at Showboat that weekend--we saw/heard maybe five, tops. this was a good thing for Reaction Jackson, but it led us into a false sense of security when we first arrived.

shockingly, he wasn't horrifically behaved in the halls (i kind of expected him to harass every stranger for a greeting), but as soon as another dog was within a 50-mile radius of desmond, he was, well, desmond about it.

and, of course, we were the only people there with a dog at the top of the weight maximum who's part pit bull. everyone else who brought a dog had some little furry thing that could be hauled in a purse or carrier and looked cute in its winter jacket instead of dorky (as desmond tends to look in his sherlock holmes-esque fleece). so, it was a bit of a scene, even when it wasn't a scene, if that makes any sense.

you would think the lack of doggies in the halls would mean we'd have a pretty good shot at privacy for desmond's sake. we had an end room with only one neighbor and were across from the vending machines, so things seemed promising. there's that false sense of security again...

as it turned out, our neighbor had a yippy, yappy, yelpy barking dog, and the vending machines attracted foot traffic and noise (i swear i have never been to a hotel with a busier vending machine. it was crazy.) these are all things that make desmond a bit nutty, because he's the nosiest dog i know. he absolutely must be involved in everything going on everywhere. he thinks he's the town mayor.

plus, the yappy dog was alone for most of the day/night. this dog would start barking every time it heard a noise, pretty much, so as we first came into the room, it was total chaos. after desmond took a tour of the area and sniffed everything, he stopped moving long enough to hear the barking. he had his typical reaction that started with a soft whine and ended with howling, because he couldn't see or find the dog.

side note: upon hearing about this escalation, you might think we have a chance at an extinction burst here (or elsewhere). you would be sadly mistaken. desmond does not do extinction; he prefers a sore throat/lost voice and stressed out, angry, embarrassed parents. this is why our original attempt at basically ferberizing desmond at night was a failure of epic proportions. end side note.

in any case, he kept running around the room, jumping on the bed, and barking at the wall. he was trying to find a spot where he could see the dog. poor thing doesn't understand how walls work.

he was beyond all ability to be distracted by us, toys, or food. obviously, neither dog stopped being dramatic because they could hear one another. horrible cycle of them riling each other up continuously. i wanted to hide under the bed.

like most dog-friendly hotels, there are rules about behavior and noise. i thought for sure we were going to get tossed out in the cold--oh, yeah, that's right. it was cold!

it was the freakin coldest weekend we've had since winter of 2010-11. so we couldn't even go anywhere with him for exercise/fun. going out to potty was a horrific experience. it must have been like 10 degrees. ridiculous. today, as i write this, it's 46 degrees. really, global warming? thanks for not helping me out last month. jerkface.

maybe you're thinking that none of this sounds all that ridiculous. for me, it was horrible. it was like all the doggie gods got together to conspire against us and make this weekend not go well. between the weather and the foot traffic and the barking dog next door, i thought i was going to lose my mind at one point.

i really don't do well being "stuck" somewhere. if i choose to stay in and do nothing for a night, that's fine. i can handle it when it's my choice. but when i feel like i'm being forced to do that, i get very antsy.

there was a point at which i considered pumping desmond full of composure treats just so i wouldn't have to be on edge about noises/visitors. joey told me i was being nuts and that i was way too worried, because desmond was honestly behaving just fine, and i was merely being the paranoid parent.

in fact, joey thought it went so well, he'd do it again, albeit in better weather so we could go to the boardwalk and whatnot. i think, looking back on it, i can say i agree with him: i'll try it one more time over the summer and see if things go better--or, rather, if i feel better about it when we're not trapped in the room.

i will say this, though: travel with a dog who can be crated would be approximately 3456724758792 times easier. oh, desmond. i still love you. 

desmond loves me, too, but you know what he really loved? the king-size bed. dude was in his glory. he didn't mind having a new couch to lounge on either.

all tucked in on the couch (we brought his blanket from home)

stretched out on the bed. he's really not all that big of a dog and yet he makes the king bed look not all that big.

tucked in on the big bed and in a sun puddle? desmond, you're so spoiled. it's ridic.

another snooze in the bed
looking dapper on the couch after we arrived and he finally settled down

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