Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where's Rugby?

Can you find Rugby in this group of Applewoods dogs? 

Yellow Dogs

How about in the Saturday Morning Retrieve Class? 

Jumping Circle

I'll give you a hint - he is the cutest one of the bunch. At least I think so. :-p

Still not Clean

Poor Rugby had an ear infection when we came back from the National Specialty a few weeks ago. The vet gave him some medicine to make him feel better, but it made his ears really greasy.  Friday, the 20th was the last day of his ear medication and it was also bath day. Those clean fresh ears didn't last long with just that one final day of treatment and they have been greasy ever since.  I feel really guilty for taking pictures of him with his nasty ears... even if he does look cute waiting with Diesel for his turn to work.

Diesel and Rugby

 I planned to re-bathe Rugby on Monday, which turned into Tuesday, then Wednesday, and now it is Saturday. I can't put it off any longer and today he will be nice and clean again just in time for the Sunday trial.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Make Yourself at Home

Dear Rugby, 

     Don't mind that dog training class of yours. Just relax and wait for your turn to work. And yes... I will rub your belly for you.

Belly Rub Please

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Festival

The American Legion had a Celebration for Armed Forces Day this past weekend. Since the Legion is right down the street from Applewoods, we found some time in between lessons and classes to sneak down and join the festivities with them.

Rugby was accompanied by Caruso and Sandy.

They saw the car show...
Armed Forces Day

They saw the bikes...
Armed Forces Day

They enjoyed the shade of the vendors' tents...
Armed Forces Day

They drank out of a WWII helmet...
Armed Forces Day

They resisted the temptation of all the stuffed animals...
Armed Forces Day

They also did a good job of showing off Applewoods...
Armed Forces Day

On the way back, I took Caruso and Rugby up the overpass. All the dogs get a kick out of it, and these two were no exception.
Armed Forces Day  Armed Forces Day

It was a good day, and another great way to celebrate Rugby's birthday!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Party

What better way to celebrate Rugby's birthday than to take a trip to the park with Brandy? After our warm up with directed jumping, gloves, gloves and more gloves Rugby and Brandy both helped to bring back the arrows down by the archery range.

Rugby the Arrow Retriever  Brandy the Arrow Retriever

When everything was all cleaned up, he raced me to the nearest trail so he could go exploring.

Needwood Park

Just off the trail was a lake, or what was left of it since most of the water down at that end had dried up. The two of them took turns running around, and Rugby went first. He got so excited to see the sand and water that he shot across the little creek. He didn't realize just how deep it got though, and he had to swim to get across!

Rugby Swimming

That was the first time he voluntarily went swimming. Usually, he tries to stay where he can still stand. Once he did it the first time though, he didn't have a problem crossing again.

My little swimmer

Of course, they both had to run around like crazy to dry off too.

Rugby at the lake Brandy at the lake

I am not sure what happened to the cute, clean and dry dogs we had but we took pictures of these wet nasty things together. :-p This was the second stump we tried for. The first one was closer to the side of the lake and surrounded by MUD (as seen on Rugby's feet).
Brandy n Rugby

Another dunk in the lake cleaned his feel off, but not well enough to get all the sand out of his fur. Phew, dirty dogs!
Brandy n Rugby

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Big Three

Happy 3rd Birthday, Rugby!


This picture is actually from Brandy's birthday (the dog all the way on the left). Rugby has to postpone his birthday celebrations until after finals are over. This weekend though - its party time! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One out of a Hundred.

I the process of earning is Utility Dog title, Rugby got a single OTCH point out of the Open B class (just 99 more points and a couple wins to go!). With that one point, he has qualified to attend the National Obedience Invitational this year. He is the third ever Maltese to qualify.

I love my dog. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Prey Drive

Face Off

Rugby doesn't have any prey drive.


I wish he did.

Squirrel Watching

This tree rat has gotten a little to comfortable around here. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Silver Lining

Rugby and Soda

We couldn't let two weekends of terrible Obedience showings keep us from having fun at Nationals. Rugby and I spent the rest of the weekend soaking up all-things-Maltese, hanging out with friends and meeting new people.

Rugs and Soda Rugby and Soda Rugby and Soda

The hotel we were at was also a golf club. The evening after the Obedience and Rally Trials when all the golfers had called it a day, Rugby took a personal tour of the grounds with Soda, another performance Maltese. Rugby has a thing for Soda and decided it would be best if he tried to hump him for most of the trip. There has only been one other dog that Rugby was so obsessed about in this way and it was a Doberman bitch that goes to Applewoods. Either way, it is not allowed and Rugby needed some reminders about what appropriate play is.

Rugby and Soda

It wasn't until the next day that Rugby got to play with Moxie (you guessed it, another performance Maltese). Moxie really wanted to play too and instead of a play bow did this cute 'wave.'
Moxie Waving

We recovered from Obedience, and it wasn't a completely wasted trip. We still had fun and got the to spend the whole weekend surrounded by awesome little dogs. Next year will be better! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Let Down

The American Maltese Association's National Specialty was in Ft. Worth this year. Besides being a good reason to try out our new bag, Rugby was also entered in Obedience.

We arrived at the hotel around 8:30 pm after a long day of travel. Rugby was sick of being in his bag. Instead of having him do his zoomies all around the hotel room, we headed down to the ballroom and met a friend for a quick training session. He quickly burned off that extra energy and then went back to the room to rest for the show the next day.

Friday would have passed us by if I didn't drag Rugby out of bed just before noon. He was exhausted. He didn't even ask to go outside. I tried feeding him some of my leftovers from dinner to see if he would wake up a bit and he did. The trial started at 1 pm with his Utility B run first, then Open B later so we went down to check in and warm up.

He did great in Utility on every single exercise. Except gloves. The #2 glove of all things. He went for it and just before he got there decided I would be happier if he got the #3 glove instead.

You can't tell from the video, but Rugby only lost 2.5 points on the individual exercises. Then he laid down during the Sit Stay.

Sigh, why couldn't he make his mistakes in the same class so we could have at least qualified in ONE of them?  Did you notice the fast transition in both videos? That is the slowest fast Rugby has ever done.

We tried. He did give me a lot considering how tired he was. This week is dedicated just to Rugby resting. Next week we will find our game-face again and get back to work.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Waiting in Atlanta

My Very Important Pet (according to AirTran) had a chance to use his new carrier on our latest weekend trip. After two years worth of use, our cheap carrier from the local pet store was completely worn out and we decided to buy the small Sturdibag in blue, since that seems to be Rugby's preferred color. We broke it in on a long trip from Baltimore to Ft. Worth with a stop in Atlanta both ways. We took the pictures while we were waiting in Atlanta the first time. Here is what I think of the bag after being in 4 airplanes and 3 different airports with it.

  • The Privacy Flaps 
    • You can cover the two separate mesh pieces on the top, and the two side mesh pieces individually. It didn't take me long to figure out that I could cover up the back half of the carrier and leave the front half of the carrier open. That way Rugby could move around in the bag for more or less privacy as he pleased. 
    • The Velcro straps that keep the flaps rolled up and out of the way are too long and when not being used get stuck to the floor/clothing/seats. Sometimes the extra gets stuck even when it IS being used. 
  • Access to the Bag
    • The bag has an opening on top and an opening on one of the sides for easy access to the bag. Our previous bad had a opening only big enough to fit your hand through for petting. It is very nice to me able to reach down and get a hold of your dog, or anything else in the bag if you need to and it is nice that he can sit up and stick his head out when we are waiting around the airport. 
  • Size
    • Rugby is 6.5 lbs, 9.5" tall and 12" long. The bag is perfect width and height wise for him, and long enough that he can move back and forth and take advantage of the two 'sections' I created with the privacy flaps. 
    • The bag is 2-3" longer than it needs to be (at 18" long). It was SUCH a pain trying to maneuver the bag underneath the seat on the plane. Poor Rugby went for quite a ride while I twisted and turned the bag to make it fit. Good thing for that collapsible quality to it since I did have to squish it down quite a bit to get it under the seat. There was room to spare height and width wise, it was just too long. 
  • Pockets
    • Since the bag was so LONG, at least I was able to put my wallet, a small book and dog treats (we were flying during Rugby's dinner time) in the bag with Rugby and he still had plenty of room. The easy access opening at the top of the bag made it easy for me to reach in and pull out things when I needed them in the airport. 
    • There is only ONE pocket at the back end of the bag, and It is not big enough for anything useful. I was able to slip a couple copies of Rugby's rabies certificate in there after folding it in quarters and not much else. 
I still have mixed feelings about the bag. I do like that when closed up, it doesn't really look like a dog carrier as well as the good qualities listed above. A friend told me she can only get her bag under the seat if she slides it, starting from the aisle. We tried this on the way back and it was easier, but still took some effort to get under there. Hopefully the bag will grow on us as we get a chance to use it more. 

Atlanta Airport   At the airport

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cherry Blossom

Rugby has hit a rough patch. I'm not happy about it, but at least he waited until his UD was finished to do it. It started at the Cherry Blossom cluster. He was entered Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th. This was his first time entered in both Utility B and Open B.

Saturday he qualified in Utility with a score of 194.

Then he went into Open and did a Sit-On-Recall. Really? He decided to mess up his favorite exercise?

No UDX leg for us, but we were hopeful for Sunday. Unfortunately, Margot called it. Rugby "doesn't do bars on Sundays." Besides doing terrible go-outs and missing the bar jump completely, I felt like I was in the ring by myself. Rugby was only giving me enough attention to do his job and nothing more. We didn't show in Open.

It was quite a depressing weekend.