Last Friday, we made our way to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show. The usually humans-only event opened its doors to owners and their dogs for #FidoFriday that evening.
I found out about the event Thursday (you guys gotta promote this stuff!), and I was a little iffy on whether or not Dipper and I should go. All those people! And the smells, the sounds, the chaos. Could Dipper handle it? Could I handle it?
But after I received a free ticket to the show from my boss, I decided—we were going!
Dogs like flowers!
I’ve spoken before about the impact Dipper has had on my experience of public events. In short, before adopting Dipper, I was incredibly shy and, well, reclusive. I was afraid to talk to people, and I didn’t really have anything to talk to them about. My pre-Dipper days were a disinterested, depressed blur.
But our visit to the Flower Show was a testament to how much that’s changed. Even when he’s not with me, I find it much easier to connect with people because I have him in my life. He is the ultimate conversation starter, whether he’s there or not. And Dipper was a huge talking point at the Flower Show for a number reasons. Mostly because he was dressed as a bumblebee.
And girls like free stuff!
We arrived at the convention center via the subway from West Philly (shout-out to our Canvas Pet Tote by LoveThyBeast for making that trek a breeze) a little ahead of schedule. We waited inside the building, but just outside the Flower Show’s gates, with a number of other owners and their dogs. It was there that some Philly PAWS volunteers checked for Dipper’s rabies identification, and a Subaru representative handed out doggie waste bags and holders.
The Flower Show partnered with PAWS and Subaru to host Fido Friday. I’m no fan of shameless plugs, but Subaru did an awesome job of providing for the event without overly inserting themselves everywhere—I just wish our complementary dog tag didn’t have “Subaru” written on the back!
Once we were in, Dipper and I headed to the Subaru Bark Park with the promise of free stuff. Dipper piddled in the park’s real grass and I hung out on a picnic blanket while we waited for our free dog tag engraving. Dipper got a little antsy when he saw a dog playing with its owner (antsy as in growling and aggressively kicking up grass), but thankfully—and amazingly—that was the only instance of “bad” behavior from him that night.
Dipper was a real trooper. He had fun, but there’s no doubt he got overwhelmed from all the attention. Before we even set foot in the showroom, the “awwwwws” came in droves. We couldn’t take three steps without someone pointing out that, yes, he is dressed like a bee.
Those reactions were second to when I told them, “he’s pollinating.”
Flowers and friends
While the flowers were great, I think the best part of the night was the conversation. As evidenced by the existence of this blog, I love talking about my dog. In fact, I think I spent less time actively observing flowers than I did answering people’s questions about his breed and temperament. I was a little wary of going to the Flower Show without a friend, but I never felt out of place or alone like I was afraid I would.
But the night was really made special because it occurred so close to our one-year anniversary. That is, approximately one year before, I adopted Dipper. Going to the Flower Show with him really showed me how far he’s come in the months since we first met.
We will definitely be attending next year’s Fido Friday, if there—fingers crossed—is one! Every dog we met was spectacularly behaved and owners appeared to be more than courteous. We didn’t meet anyone with any qualms about Dipper being there, at least! He may have “pollinated” a few flowers, but he was on his best behavior. I’m beyond proud.
That’s amazing! I totally agree- and I am the same way! I used to be afraid to go to my favorite lake by my house alone in the summer but when a girl wants to go swimming, shes going swimming. So I started bringing my pup and it’s definitely a good ice breaker as well as I even taught her how to swim, which she was too scared to even get in the water at first! Your little bumblebee dipper is the cutest- im glad he makes you so happy 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I love to swim! Dipper…not so much. Do you have any tips for getting a waterphobic dog, well, fond of water?
Yes!! The only way i got her in at all is to throw her ball into the water… At first even that didnt work, she would stare and bark at it. So i would swim to the ball, get it, throw it back in- kept trying that and eventually she went in after it!!
Oh, what to do for a dog that doesn’t care about toys! Dipper only picks up his playthings when he’s in the mood…it’s the strangest (and most frustrating) thing. I’m glad you’ve got your swimming buddy now, though. Jack Russells and terriers aren’t exactly waterdogs!