Convention Stories: Infinite Bark

This story occurred at C2E2 2020 and while not a long and elaborate tale it was certainly a story I will remember for awhile, mainly because I really like dogs.

So this happened while my wife and I were in line to get an autograph from Stephen Amell, star of Arrow. The convention had the line in rows so after one row was full you would line up beside that line in a subsequent row. To our left were two gentlemen holding one dog each, I think they were chihuahuas but it’s been awhile so I don’t know if my memory is correct. Since I like dogs my attention immediately shifted to them, but it was quickly clear that these dogs were not prepared for a convention environment. One dog was barking at anyone who moved and since we are in a convention full of approximately 80,000 the dog would not calm down no matter what the owner tried to do. The second dog was not affected by the crowd at all but barked in response to the first dog barking. So the dogs barked for the entire time and we were in line for quite a while so about two hours. I thought they may have been service animals but when the two gentleman were out of earshot one person near us in line stated he was an expert with service animals and no trained service animal would behave like that. I’m not an expert so I can’t say if this is right but it made sense to me.

My wife and I eventually made it to Stephen and my wife brought up the dogs. Stephen’s joyful expression quickly changed to a scowl and he goes “were they your dogs?” We quickly clarified they were not ours they were just beside us in line for awhile. Stephen made it very clear that he was very angry with their owners because putting those animals in such a situation where they are alert and tense for so long is very stressful for them and for their health. We talked about how our dog was neglected by her previous owner so when we adopted her we made sure to give her lots of attention and it was a very pleasant conversation. I still wonder if those gentleman helped train their dogs to be more receptive to convention crowds or for the dogs wellbeing left them home so they would stress so much.

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