Cinder's first exposure to hockey was met with mixed reviews.
Entering the Kohl Center, Cinder was greeted by the usual friendly staff. Thinking that she was Neva, they remarked at how much she had grown. We arrived early and walked around the vacant building to get accommodated. Initially nervous, she enjoyed the walk and meeting people. She passed the multiple tests where we passed food lying on the floor or dropped in front of her.
We decided to sit by the glass for the first period and Cinder enjoyed watching the activity, until the first check. The loud noise and shaking of the boards caused panic. She settled down and with the exception of a few more loud thuds from the puck hitting the glass, she relaxed.
Cinder has proven to be a stubborn pottier (rarely on-leash or on-command). She refused our encouragement before the game, but felt comfortable relieving herself on the floor as we walked around between periods.
Everything else went well, until the Badgers scored their first goal. The fog horn sounded and Cinder bolted for the exit. She was petrified. We calmed her down and she rested until the Badgers took the lead with the second goal. I gave her positive feedback and she remained calm under our seats - no problem.
Unfortunately, the Badgers gave up a late goal to let Yale tie the game and eventually go into a shootout. The Badgers scored on the final shot and the fog horn sounded and lasted thirty seconds, or at least it felt like that long. Cinder was in a complete panic and couldn't stop trembling.
We have already begun positive reinforcement for accepting loud noises. Cinder will spend three more nights this week at the Kohl Center. By the end of her time with us she will either be a full fledged rink rat or a complete basket case.