Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

Can you believe it is December already?

Some of you might remember how Rugby prepared for Christmas last year with his 25 Days of Christmas posts.  I described it last year this way...
I would like to turn this blog for the next 25 days into an....advent calender of sorts. The only difference being that you don't get to open any windows (just click) and the only sweet thing you are getting will be a picture of Rugby with both a red and green object. Just one picture a day, every day 'till Christmas.

The countdown was inspired by Brisbane's owner who wears red and green for every day in December.

We are going to give it another shot this year. It was a little hard to find something red AND green for 25 days in a row, so some of the days ended up being only one or the other.  We are also going to try to focus on better counting skills and keeping our days straight! Here are a few warm up pictures...
RED bandanna GREEN shirt (in the mirror)

RED skirt and a GREEN skirt

RED hose (on the wall) and almost everything else is GREEN.

Here we go! Feel free to join us - everyone can use a few extra Christmas photos!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It is all here!

I took Rugby for the first time to visit the new house in Pennsylvania where our family moved (except for us). He was really excited when he walked in and realized this is where all his stuff went to! His couches, rugs, tables, blankets, pillows, EVERYTHING! I wish I had thought to video him walk in and his reaction once he recognized the furniture. He ran around like crazy and sniffed it all up and down just to make sure nothing was out of place.

Once he gave himself a tour of the entire house, we went for a walk to check out the neighborhood too.


It was a nice vacation! We have been slacking on our training this weekend. Time to get back to work now!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing...

It was so delicious, how could we not share with Rugby?

Tomorrow he gets to work on the turkey neck!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope you all had a happy holiday and a great dinner!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smells Funny

When you smell like soap, it makes doing scent articles much harder for your dog. That is why I was thrown into a small fit of panic when I had brain laps and took a bathroom break just a little bit before our turn at the obedience match yesterday. Who knew Utility training could be so personal that you have to schedule bathroom breaks?! :-p

While I would like to blame my soapy smelling hands for Rugby missing the leather article, I don't think that is the case. It is just a small hump we have to go through before he actually becomes the super, amazing, fantastic scent article dog that he is. Hump will likely become much smaller if I start working him before I wash my hands, though.

At least he got the leather one right on the second try. Metal was good the first time.

That was the only NQ yesterday.

The other thing he did that is hard to see in the video is on the go-outs. For the first one, he went out straight until he was 10 feet in front of the baby gate and started veering left. I tried to sit him before he got off track too much. I am about 75% sure that he did this because we had the number one glove and he couldn't remember when we got out there if he was doing go-outs or directed retrieve again. The second go-out was perfect except for the sit (crooked). We have to work on doing gloves THEN go-outs on the same side of the ring.

I am happy. We are on the right track. :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

...and a Maltese too!

Rugby has been outnumbered the last couple of days while we entertaining Bailey, Bentley and Krista Bell. This picture is from the first time Rugby met the puppy, Krista Bell. Not much has changed a year later, except my ability to get a good group shot of them.
Rugby loved playing with Bell the past few days. She helped me wear him out when I was busy studying!
She also taught him how little dogs are supposed to look out the window. Since the windows go all the way to the floor, they certainly didn't need to sit on the couch to see out.
Rugby taught her a few things too though, and was able to get her to do things she may not have known she was doing. Like heeling, (walking side by side with Rugby) or being attentive to my every move (following Rugby while he helps my take out the trash).
On a few rare occasions, Rugby and Bell took a rest from playing.
They both made sure to rest up well so that they could get back to playing after their nap.
I think Rugby's Shih Tzus are going to miss him.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Neighbor Dogs

We took advantage of some of our neighbors that we didn't know existed. Rugby and I went for a walk, looking to practice are signals. RIGHT by our house we heard this racket, or to be specific, about 5 toy dogs barking at us up and down their fence. There was 4 pugs, a pomeranian and a chihuahua ALL announcing our presense.

Turns out that was just the distraction we needed. It took us 20 minutes before we could do them all!

Our neighbor dogs barked continuously for the entire 20 minutes we were there. There was one pug that was the ring leader and kept up the barking when the other got bored. The pomeranian was showing some very "jack russel" tendencies and was bouncing back and forth between the dogs dedicated to barking at us trying to start some good natured trouble.

We need to find more distractions like these dogs!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Utility Match

Rugby and I went to a match yesterday to see where we stand as far as Utility is concerned. He did good on everything except signals, where he ignored my sit signal, and came to me reallllllly slowly on the recall signal.

He got both articles correct. His confidence was raised with the first one, and on the leather article he RAN out to the pile to get the right one.

I decided to use brown gloves, so that they would blend in the most with the black flooring. Luckily he more or less followed my direction to the corner, until he could see the glove.

Moving stand was uneventful. I have to practice how many steps to take after leaving him to get me the right distance away.

Thank GOD he did the directed jumping ok. The go-outs are not entirely straight, and his sits are not straight yet either. Those are things to fine tune as soon as I am sure he is confident with the go-outs and comfortable with them.

Our goal was to get into the Utility ring this year, and I think he could be ready by the end of December except for one thing - there are not any shows still open then. There is a show at the beginning of December, but I think it is a little too soon, not to mention we will be stepping foot for the first time in Utility right before finals week! :-O

So next year it is. There are quite a few in late January/early February so we can take a shot at this UD thing then.

Off to do some training!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It Is Empty

We are officially moved out of Rugby's house.

Rugby was pretty confused when we went back the other day to get some pictures.
Its weird to think someone else is moving in and they are going to make their own memories, completely void of Rugby. I mean - it is HIS house after all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sunset Park

I am sure the blog will get bored of watching Rugby do directed jumping before we get tired of practicing them. Bored or not, you get to see it again! This video is from Sunday at Tick Neck Park with Caruso.

School were closed so people could get out there and vote (we made sure to go *wink*). So we went to a one of the local schools to practice them again. The park behind the school is called 'Sunset Park.'
The directed jumping was better today then they were on Sunday, in the video. The 'warm up' time he needs to be able to do them decently is getting shorter and shorter. Once that warm up time is sufficiently short, I can start bugging him about sitting straight, etc. We really need baby gates though since he won't be running out in the middle of no where when he has to do this in the ring. Until then, I need to find some walls and fences to do them towards. I have some great ideas about proofing the directed jumping, but I don't think Rugby is quite ready for that challenge. Practice, practice, practice.

Next was signals. The kids from the surrounding neighborhoods were a great distraction for Rugby, and I had to help him out with the first one. It was just what he needed though, because from then on he didn't take him eyes of me.

Last thing we did was gloves. We were in the grass, so I had him retrieve a green glove, #3. The other two were brown and showed up much better than the green one. Apparently we need to practice these more, since he tried going for the brown, #2 glove the first time instead of following my direction.

He seemed like he still had lots of energy left so we finished with a couple retrieves over the high jump and retrieves on the flat. Rugby carried his own leash all the way back to the car. Good Boy, Rugby!

Tag Along

Caruso was in need of some new pictures so we met up at Tick Neck Park for a photo shoot. We were lucky that we were essentially the only people there, so the dogs got to stretch their legs a little bit too.

Rugby really could not keep up with Caruso, but he gets points for trying!
Caruso kept checking in with Rugby like this to make sure he was still coming.
Caruso got his much needed pictures, and Rugby got his exercise for the day! Caruso and Rugby did some training while we were there as well. Caruso worked on his articles, plus the retrieves and jumping he did for the pictures. Rugby worked on his directed jumping. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

In Disguise

All the dogs came to class on Thursday in costume. We still did a little training in costume, but we made sure to party it up too. :)

Rugby went as a killer whale.

I DID try to take pictures while working. This is the only evidence of that since I gave up when I kept running into people. :p
There were some great costumes there. I took pictures of all the dogs by themselves if you wanted to get a closer look at every one's Halloween gear.