Monday, July 14, 2014

Running Away to the Circus

Circuses--like zoos and aquariums--are complicated subjects for me. I know there are many reports of abused animals and that even animals that are treated well are often living in conditions that don't come close to resembling their natural habitats.

On the other hand, I also think they have potential to be a good way to teach people about animals they don't see every day. Often, I think people embrace that out of sight out of mind mentality when it comes to endangered and threatened species, so having a chance to see how majestic they are up close and personal might make people care more about the ones in the wild.

So, when the signs started going up around town that the circus was coming to town, I was torn. I wanted to see the elephants, but I also didn't want to give the circus any money to support toting elephants and other animals from town to town.

Then I read in the paper that the elephants would be getting a bath with help from the local fire department on Friday afternoon a few hours before the first show and that the bath was open to the public and free!

Since my sister was coming to town that day, I knew she'd need to stretch her legs a little bit before we got back in the car to go to the concert she was coming up to see--and what better walking destination than the circus!

I decided Barley could come on the adventure since it was only a half mile from our house and we put on her cooling coat a few minutes before the bath was about to start and headed to the circus grounds. I was worried that we wouldn't be able to stay--even though Barley did just fine with walking through a crowd on her CGC test and when we attempted the TDI test she had no trouble with the crowd or with people using walkers, wheelchairs, and hacking and coughing, there were no large pachyderms nearby to distract her. There also weren't a lot of kids squealing and laughing or large hoses spraying water during her tests, so I wasn't sure how all of these things would affect her. Mostly, I was worried that she'd growl and bark at the elephants.

We got there right as they were unrolling the hoses and getting ready to lead the elephants out onto the grassy spot they'd get their bath in. We picked a spot way off to the side several feet behind everyone else. It wasn't the best view, especially not for taking great pictures, but we got to see the elephants walk out holding each other's tails and got to see them get covered in sudsy water and hosed off by the fire department.

Barley's not so sure why everyone's so excited. They're just elephants after all.

This was the best picture I could get of bathtime by zooming in with my phone--why didn't I bring my actual camera?

My sister got to sneak in a little closer to get this one.

I was very proud of my Barley girl. She sat patiently off to the side while we watched the elephants walking to their bath. She didn't act like anything unusual was going on (maybe she was a circus dog in her pre-shelter life?). Later on, she laid down by my feet and just waited for the occasional treat to appear in my hand.

Even when people started leaving and the elephants were heading back to their pen, she showed absolutely no interest. Such a good pup!


We walked back home and relaxed a little before it was time to get ready for our big girls' night out at the Sara Bareilles concert. I didn't feel bad about leaving the pup for the entire evening because she was totally worn out after her big circus adventure.

This might not be comfy, but she was too tired to find a new spot.

The circus was packing up and leaving town on Saturday night after their last show, so we took a late evening walk to say goodbye to the elephants. Even with a very clear view (and an even clearer smell!) of the elephants, Barley had no reaction.


It's not every day that a small-town pup gets to see elephants, so I'm glad we had the opportunity to do something fun and different in our neighborhood, but I don't think either of us will be running away to join the circus any time soon.


We're joining the Mischief Monday blog hop today--be sure to check out the mischief everyone else has been up to lately!



16 comments:

  1. I'm a circus lover... so thanks for being kind to them... it was a great adventure for your good girl... and she's a doll!

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    1. Thanks! She's a handful, but I love her :) I think circuses are a lot of fun and as long as they are responsible and care for the animals then they can be a great way for people to get to enjoy the animals and entertainment.

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  2. Hope you enjoyed! Looks like tons of fun :)

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    1. It was fun! We were sad that we didn't get a shot of the elephants opening their mouths for a drink from the hose. Next year, I'll bring my real camera!

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  3. Good girl Barley. I agree with you, I would be torn too - the bath viewing was a good compromise.

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    1. It was definitely a fun adventure. We were almost as excited as the kids there :)

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  4. Fun times! Mr. N hasn't met an elephant before but he's met horses and llamas and rabbits before. He wants to chase all of them so I'm a little afraid what he will do with elephants.

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    1. Barley is usually pretty good with rabbits and she's been good (but very interested) in horses on the trails the few times we've encountered them, but she HATES Amish horses pulling buggies. She has a fit in the backseat every time we have to pass them, so I was afraid the elephants might get that sort of reaction--I was pleasantly surprised!

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  5. I totally agree with you about Zoos, the good ones anyways!! :) Barley is so cute! I hope you had a fun time at the concert!!

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    1. Thanks! The concert was a blast!

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  6. That is a tough one. I'm not a big fan of the circus, but I think you made a wise choice and it sounds like Barley was a good girl and enjoyed it too!

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    1. Yeah. I don't know enough about this particular circus to know how the animals are treated on a regular basis, but it was definitely exciting to see elephants so close to my front door!

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  7. Woohoo! It was such a fun way to kick off our weekend! I still think it's funny that she had no interest in them. At least she let us be excited :-)

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    1. I know! She was very good at humoring us. I'm glad we got to see them, too!

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  8. We think you made a great choice! Barley is adorable!!

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    1. Thank you! We had a great time!

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