Friday, June 18, 2010

The Mother Lode of Distractions

"Eureka!!! I've landed in the promised land", thought Trapper as we entered the Florida Aquarium. Kids galore...big ones, small ones, curious ones, and of course, scared ones. Parents were everywhere. Lest you think that this was the highlight of the day....I'll tell you that was NOT the case.

There is a nice stroll, although rather long, just to get to the Aquarium from the parking lot. And the parking lot has a detour that takes you wayyyyy down around the old banana docks. A street Trolley passed as well as lots of cars and Trapper was quite interested in the cacaphony that ensued. We finally arrive and pay our dues for entry and are on our way. No one says anything about the dog at the entrance, or asks clarification if he is a guide dog, etc. I say that because at the zoo, they had to announce a code one niner or some other mystery code to let everyone know there was a dog in the park. OK there are a lot of other things WAY more scary than a dog at the zoo, but whatever:) We aim to please.

Trapper's nose was twitching as we passed the gate. His muscles were getting tense and I said to Larry, boy he is going to be tired today after all of this stimulation and scents. Tee hee hee, was I right or what? We entered the first part of the exhibit, which was the Wetlands area. Shazaaam, Trapper turned into a wild man! Holy moly, hopping and let out a bark and pulling and tugging. I was only glad that Larry had him instead of me, or we would still be chasing him today. There in front of us sat the mother lode of fish...and turtles....and swaying grass...and a shell (oh my!)...and great balls o' fire they were all moving this way and that. He could hardly contain himself and I worried we may have a busy right then and there!

He is distracted, and remember he is only 6.5 months old, by butterflies and moths in the yard. He'll stop a poop to catch a butterfly, honest to goodness. This must have looked like the biggest tank of butterflies and moths that he had ever seen. We passed the stingray tank, and POOOOF hopping and jumping, the rays bolted seeing his antics. They did come back for another look though, which was kind of amusing. Next tank, MORE fish, bigger than the last ones, and have mercy there were birds swimming on the top of the tank!!!!!!!! I checked to see where the defibrillator was since I was sure poor Larry was going to have a coronary with all of this yanking on his arm..and chest!

We didn't want to create a scene with the birds, so we moved around the corner to the next exibit and amazingly, it held fish too:) Who knew? And a group of people formerly listening to the lecture, and now watching as we try to tell Trapper "easy, drop it, leave it, good boy, bad boy, get me outta here boy"I'm sure were entertained. We had one lady tell us she had an 8 month lab and couldn't fathom bringing the dog to the aquarium and complemented us on his good manners.

It only took a couple of fish tanks and a good sit in front of the biggest group of fish we could find, to get him to settle down. There was a bench in front of a huge aquarium and pompano as big as my legs swam by, and then swam DOWN, as the tank extended below our level. That was entertaining as poor Trapper tried to figure out where did the fish go? He was sure he saw them go down under him but there was only carpet. It was a good exercise as he was able to sit and not be distracted by the end of our visit. He became disinterested actually and we realized it was time to leave while still in good favor with the nice staff of the aquarium:) Hi ho Silver as we press on to other attractions....and distractions.

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