UPDATE: I learned recently that the following week many of the audience members barked between songs, rather than, or in addition to, applauding. My trend-setting pup! The innovative Tamworth Lyceum is holding a Sunday afternoon live music series this winter and Chico and I stopped by for a while this afternoon. Peter Heimlich was playing and lots of folks were there to listen.
Again today, Chico joined in with the applause. Mercifully, it was understood and appreciated. For the rest, he was quite social – quiet and happy, interested in people but not pushy. A few times he allowed strangers to pay him for doing his tricks, one man even had his own cookies in his pocket. Several people wanted to say hello to Chico and rather than let them force themselves on him or ask them to wait for him to come to them (which he might not do in this stressful situation), I gave each of them a few of the cookies I was carrying for Chico. That made him tune right into the new person and optimistically and enthusiastically bang down into a sit and give his very cutest “where’s my paycheck?” look. Which they of course rewarded because he was so smart to anticipate their command (and again we have to as, who’s training who here?). Then I suggest ‘paw’, they shake hands and Chico gets another treat, and badda-boom, we’ve had a successful exercise in socialization.