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October 9, 2020: The Dog and Pony Show, for Real

Up until now, the dog and pony show has just been an idea, a hypothetical thought rolling around in my head. The term is believed to have originated in the late 19th century to describe traveling circuses that featured performing dogs and ponies and toured rural areas across the US. These performances were also called road shows. It became a colloquial term, which has come to mean a highly promoted, often over-staged, performance, presentation, or event designed to sway or convince opinion for political, or less often, commercial ends.

According to Wikipedia, the term dog and pony show “is used in a pejorative sense to connote disdain, jocular lack of appreciation, or distrust of the message being presented or the efforts undertaken to present it.”

Terri and Alys with their ponies

One of my life goals is to now restore credibility to this term. Well, maybe it never was credible – but when I’m done, it’s going to be credible.

The brightly shining stars of my show are four wonderful Icelandic horses and two most amazing dogs. The Icelandic contingent includes Tinni, 31; Raudhetta, 17; Hrimfara, 8; and Tyra, 7. The dogs are Ryder, 8; and Shadow, 6 months.

Here, the show goes on. Today my good friend Terri Mielke came over with Dynur, her new Icelandic gelding. She went to Oregon to pick him up and bring him home. It really was a trial by fire because during her stay in California, she had to deal with smoke and possible evacuation efforts. Then, coming home, she and her husband Bob had to deal with Canada’s travel restrictions, one day for example, they had to drive over 500 miles.

Dynur is a near spitting image of Raudi, chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. And he has a wonderful disposition. We went for a ride to Grizzly Camp, me riding Raudi, Pete riding Joe, Terri’s Tennessee Walking horse. A beautiful ride on a beautiful fall day.

After Terri left, I took Tinni and Shadow and Ryder for a walk. I hopped on Tinni on the trail, and Shadow indicated she wanted to go home. So I dismounted Tinni and put Shadow on Tinni’s back and took the pair further out on the trail; Shadow, then a ways from home, changed her mind and accompanied Ryder and me on the trail ride.

Back at home, I did a quick agility session with Tyra. Then Pete and I took Shadow to puppy socialization hour. Shadow is no longer a shadow – the first two weeks she refused to come out of the cornered off safe zone. Then, the following week, she bounced out of there, and since then she has been running and playing with the other dogs. It does interest me that the dogs don’t make friends the way their human counterparts do. Their human counterparts tend to talk to the same people week after week. The dogs, they play with one dog one week, and another the next. Last week Shadow played with a German Shepherd pup. This week she rolled around with a mop dog, one I named Ruggles, a poodle Bernese Mountain dog cross.

I don’t yet know about the word show in the phrase dog and pony show. Right now it’s just dog and pony. No matter, we are all having a really good time.

Next: 280. 10/10/2020: Fall etc.

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