Well THAT was a surprise.

So, my first ‘meet and greet’ of the season is officially under my belt.

Yes, I know I said I dread them because I am not entirely comfortable with my own floundering people skills, but you know what? After this weekend, I think I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf, (no pun intended since the event was at the Chicago Botanic Garden.) A lovely venue despite the deluge on Saturday. It was pouring buckets when we got there to set up our table and we’d already been moved from the Rose Garden to a tented shelter. I didn’t even bring my whole display because I was feeling somewhat disorganized and I wasn’t all that confident that anyone would show up given the rain = mud = that wet dog smell. But wait….!

Come to find out that all three major network news stations as well as NPR were there, and there were a good 250-300 people who braved the storm to bring their costumed pooches to the Garden on the only day of the year that they let dogs in. I was utterly amazed.  I ended up taking more orders on Saturday than at any other pet-related show I’ve done to date, and in less time. At the end of the two hours, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much at the adorable dogs in costume and their matching kids. There was food, music and a general party atmosphere and I had a blast. I hardly noticed the fact that I was talking to strangers and I didn’t even have to do much convincing for them to dig my art.

So, there you have it, lesson learned. You never know when fate will tap you on the shoulder and give you a little pick-me-up. I’m actually feeling a lot better about the onset of the holiday season now. Thanks much to my gal pal Michelle Cinqui, event coordinator extraordinaire, for inviting me to participate in what turned out to be a really great experience. I’m really looking forward to doing it again next year.

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