Monday, March 5, 2012

Preparing for a Pajama Party with a Dog in the House

The pajama party girls
We have decided to postpone MC's kiddie birthday party because December was just too busy and there was no chance to squeeze in an overnight party. The birthday girl agreed, which is a good thing as we realized it is not easy to prepare a pajama party with a dog in the house.

We got a chance to practice for the said pajama party. And we had time to trim the guest list, create  better invitation cards, and clean and clear-out MC's bedroom. Most important, we bought time to discipline our dog, Rikki, and to teach the girls how to best handle her, too.

How did we prepare for a pajama party with a pet dog?

First, we prepared Rikki, our golden retriever.

Rikki's turn for a pajama party

We simply continued bringing Rikki to obedience school. Then we visited her breeder and talked about how to handle our dog's very playful temperament especially her behavior when meeting kids. She tends to flip out and jumps all over the kids which really scares them as Rikki is sometimes bigger than them! We also have to keep Rikki on a leash most of the time especially during meal times which has two purposes: so that she'd get used to being on a leash and so that she could rest, too.

Of course, rigorous dog training at home; which really helped a lot!

Second, we prepared for the pajama party by:

1. Asking all invited guests if anybody's allergic to dog hairs. Good thing, nobody had any allergies.
2. Asking all invited guests if anybody is afraid of dogs. One admitted to be a little afraid of Rikki only because she is a big dog, (Rikki is a golden retriever) the girl have a smaller dog at home. We had to watch out that Rikki don't jump on her.
3. Telling the girls to limit the movement of their guests in the house. Guests are only allowed in the bathroom, in MC and IC's bedrooms, in the living room and in the dining room. The kitchen is off-limits because that is where Rikki usually stays during the day.
4. Letting Rikki meet the guests, one by one; for a minute of sniffing.
5. Showing the guests around the house while Rikki is out for a walk.
6. Closing the doors of the rooms where the kids are mostly closeted. Sometimes, the noise would be too much for the dog.
7. Telling the kids to ask if they wanted to pet Rikki; if they wanted to play with her.
8. Treats for Rikki should be controlled.
9. If Rikki is sleeping, to let her sleep.
10. During meal times, to ignore Rikki and concentrate on their party.

With eight girls in the house, the pajama party with our pet dog was a success! The girl who admitted to be a little afraid of Rikki seemed to have forgotten her angst; she was cuddling with Rikki in no time at all.

MC and her guests enjoyed the party, despite a few minutes of  frustrated tears because of bickering about who should sleep where and with whom.

And Rikki? She enjoyed all the attention. She behaved well (let's ignore the enthusiastic jumps because the girls encouraged most of them). I also ignored the fact that the girls stuffed Rikki with treats (which could be the reason she behaved well!).

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