Mandi, Rugby's predecessor (pictured above with my friend), practically grew up on a farm. She was great around the horses, and all the general farm activities. I have always been a little disappointed in Rugby's farm opportunities, and the fact that he hasn't had the chance to figure out how to be a farm-dog or navigate a barn or help with chores.
This week has gone a long way towards fixing that problem, and Rugby is very quickly learning the ropes. One of the reasons he has gone from apartment-dog to farm-dog so quickly is his Obedience training. We went to watch a friend ride, and I was able to heel him off-lead into the barn, throw is mat down out of the way and have him 'place' there while I left him to go take pictures. We only used two simple commands, but it made me realize just how far we have come over the past three years.
He showed off again when we went out for lunch the other day. Besides the fact that the restaurant was extremely accommodating for us (they brought out a water bowl for the dogs with our drinks... and we didn't have to ask for one!), it was another chance to use his training. We were the only dogs allowed out on the pier to take photos.
Not surprisingly, a versatile dog is a trained dog. Rugby is turning into a dog for all occasions, and I love it.