Because the real city of New York might be a bit overwhelming for both of us, Lomax and I decided we’d try a smaller version of it first. Here he is, smiling for the camera as always, in Times Square.
As it turns out, LEGOland is a great place to go on a Thursday in January…especially if you have free tickets. The weather was perfect and it wasn’t very crowded. Because the park caters to smaller children, Lomax had lots of practice ignoring little hands and cries of “doggie!” from passing strollers. He was as surprised as I when a free-range toddler managed to sneak up behind us and pull his tail, but he didn’t do anything naughty.
There were so many new and exciting things to see, hear and smell that Lomax walked pretty fast most of the day, and it was a challenge to keep him in a nice heel position for any significant length of time. I did what I always do, which is change directions on him — right, left, or a complete 180 — to keep him focusing on me and anticipating the next move. It’s effective, but it does make getting from Point A to Point B a little less direct. I hate to leash-correct him so much in public, because people tend to get the wrong idea…not that you’d think this dog is mistreated, looking at his happy face, alert ears and constantly wagging rear end!
Overall, he did very well. Loud, strange noises were met with curiosity but not fear, with the exception of a lifesized, beeping LEGO model of R2-D2, upon which he looked with great suspicion until later in the day when I brought him back to sniff and make friends on his own terms. He didn’t even mark, as he is sometimes wont to do (even in jacket! aigh!) when we pass too close to a previously “decorated” shrub.
Lomax was allowed to go on one attraction, a slow boat ride on the river that runs through the “Miniland” section of the park. He wasn’t sure about getting on board the boat from the dock, but he did jump in with my encouragement. Once I sat down on the seat with him seated on the floor between my legs, however, he decided he would rather climb cartoon-style over my entire body to exit, stage left. I got control of him and sat him back down, but he spent the rest of the ride with his front legs tap dancing on the floor of the boat, acting as though he would love nothing better than to ditch this lame tour and take a refreshing swim. He exited the boat happily, but not in an out-of-control fashion, and seemed just fine.
The only truly disobedient thing he did all day — because there always has to be ONE thing — was lunge for a piece of dropped food. He is very well behaved around food as a rule, so this was surprising! But it was one of “Granny’s Apple Fries,” so I can understand the temptation. I pulled it out of his mouth and put it back on the ground to set him up a few times. After one more successful Lab-mouth lightning-strike (fastest tongue in the West) and several corrections, he learned to leave it alone and was richly rewarded with hugs and kisses and praise. Also, the threat of jail time is very effective.