Saturday, May 24, 2014
BlogPaws Las Vegas (Part Two)
Once I arrived at the conference, the first thing I did was drop Pallo off at the provided pet park. Juggling two high energy dogs in crowds takes a good deal of effort, so I love that BlogPaws provides another option for people who want to bring their dogs along to the conference. Pallo spent most of the conference happily playing fetch at the pet park while Koira hung out with me.
I think half the people at the conference ended up with a picture of Koira doing her dead cockroach impression. At the various sessions and keynotes, she always chilled out, either roaching or sleeping on her side, sometimes using people's feet as pillows. She was a handful on Thursday, despite our walks that morning. As the conference went on, though, she got really tired. Since my dogs are used to spending time in their crates every day while I'm at work, spending a whole day walking around surrounded by people and activity really took it out of both of the dogs. They both slept great each night when we got back to the campground.
While the keynotes and session speakers were interesting, the part I really like about BlogPaws is meeting fellow bloggers. No one thinks I'm weird for writing a dog blog. And everyone is just as crazy about dogs, cats, or other pets as I am. There is something really comfortable about that.
Of course, the most fun to meet visitors at the conference were the other animals that came along.
Snotface the ferret sat next to me and Koira at one of the keynotes, and I got a few photos of him. He was being totally adorable, climbing around, looking at everyone, and then curling up on his mom's lap to sleep.
The most exotic of the animals at the conference was without a doubt the capybara, Mia.
She is still a baby, so will get a lot bigger. She was super sweet. I had never felt a capybara before. Their hair is super coarse, a lot like the bristles on a pig. Mia kept trying to suck everyone's fingers, since she was bottle raised. Her mom had to ask people not to encourage it, though, because Mia will have some very impressive teeth when she gets older (though her teeth were already plenty big at the time), and sucking on people isn't a good habit for an adult to have. Overall, she was super sweet, and it was really interesting to talk to capybara owners and learn a little about them.
Of course, there were also a lot of other animals that I met, including cats, dogs, ferrets, and birds, along with their owners. And of course, there were the people who came without their pets for one reason or another. A BlogPaws conference isn't an appropriate setting for every animal by any means, with a ton of people, animals, and activity happening constantly. Even Koira, who is used to that kind of thing from flyball and other traveling, got really tired by the end. I made sure to keep an eye on her and anyone approaching her to make sure she was comfortable. She did amazing, even with a few dogs who were totally rude to her, but as she got more tired, I tried to keep her more shielded from everything in case her temper got shorter.
On Friday and Saturday, I took some time during sessions to sit on a couch with Koira, so she had a chance to sleep. The sessions were calm, but didn't have a comfy spot for her to curl up, and she didn't sleep as nicely in sessions. So I took the time to charge my phone on the charging station and let her sleep. In fact, my big suggestion for BlogPaws in the future is to have a "quiet room" with covered dog crates available. If there was a person who could stay in the room with the dogs, with the phone numbers of the owners in case there were any issues, it would work out great. It would give the dogs a place to sleep and get away from the crazy noise and bustle of the conference. It would also offer an alternative to the pet park, for those dogs who aren't suited to an open play area full of dogs.
I still plan on writing some more about BlogPaws, but I don't want to make a single post hugely long. So I'll put together another part to finish up our epic BlogPaws trip.