As we took in the exhibits and demonstrations for the SEWE Saturday at Marion Square, I couldn’t help but continuously think of a solitary phrase: “What a difference a year makes.”
A year ago from Saturday, Suzanne and I were standing at the bottom of her entry staircase on Wentworth Street, the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics paused on DVR, as we marveled at a winter wonderland developing outside. Downtown Charleston was blanketed in 1-2 inches of snowfall in one of those strange scenes you sometimes see at local restaurants that depict such an event occurring in like 1935. The organizers of SEWE had a little bit of reorganization to contend with, not to mention a few jittery hours of attempting to project how much the cold temperatures would affect attendance.
This Saturday, the sun shone brightly, creating a near-80 degree picture of perfection for throngs of wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts to absorb the products and messages of vendors, interest groups, and magazines enveloped in what basically constituted a zoo considering how many different types of animals were gracing the square.
Speaking of animals, a year ago we stood over a pen at the Grateful Golden’s post, gazing happily and, truth be told, warily, over the…lab…puppies that were crawling around therein. For some reason, the volunteer organization didn’t have golden retrievers the day we went but the effect was still the same, as we were a mere two weeks from adopting Finley. I remember feeling particularly antsy that day, carefully observing the behaviors of all the dogs and their owner men/women as they traversed the crowds amidst the intense amount of stimuli that threatened to wrest the dogs from their grasp at any moment. I was doing my homework.
This Sunday, we took our own wresting dog on an exhibition for attendees to do their homework on how NOT to control your dog in a crazy situation. To her credit, she’s been worse–way worse. To our credit, well, we get no credit, besides maybe sympathy points for putting on a free clinic/comedy hour. She wasn’t the worst behaved hound in the place by a long shot though and even if she was exuberant, it was only in the name of getting an up-close and personal look at the golden/lab mix puppies gracing the large enclosed tent.
She was doing her own mentoring.