Monday, January 2, 2012

Life with Rugby

The National Obedience Invitational was held in conjunction with the National Agility Invitational, the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship and AKC Meet the Breeds. Since we were competing Saturday and Sunday in the NOI, we walked around the days before to see the booths being set up, paying particular attention to our favorite breeds in case we didn't get the chance to see them over the weekend.

During the lunch break on Saturday, we snuck away from the Obedience rings to visit the Maltese booth. Rugby was still saving his steps, and stayed snuggled up in his brand new sling. Even though we were only there for a few minutes, Rugby was more than willing to meet and greet with booth visitors. Rugby's picture was featured on the performance display under Obedience and we showed all the visitors and told them to come watch Rugby perform that weekend in the other room.

A couple of times throughout the weekend, in the Obedience room and at the Meet the Breeds booth, people asked me to describe the Maltese to them. What is it like to live with a Maltese? What is it like to train a Maltese? What is the temperament of the Maltese like?

I live with a Maltese, I train a Maltese and I spend most of my time with a Maltese. Still, these questions were hard to answer. How could I possible describe all that is Rugby to someone in only a sentence or two?

I gave it my best shot, but I realized I was failing miserably when someone responded to my description with, "so they are like Golden Retrievers?" No. They are not like Golden Retrievers.

I was disappointed in my descriptive abilities, and came back home and read the Maltese breed standard. How does the AKC describe the Maltese? From the breed standard...
Temperament For all his diminutive size, the Maltese seems to be without fear. His trust and affectionate responsiveness are very appealing. He is among the gentlest mannered of all little dogs, yet he is lively and playful as well as vigorous.
I want to take time to compare each of the qualities listed in the breed standard to the one-and-only, Mister Rugby Sevens. What does Rugby do that agrees with the breed standard, and what does he do that makes separates him from the rest? By the time we get through the breed standard, I think we should have a list of our own and the next time someone asks me to describe the Maltese, I will be plenty prepared to answer!


  1. It is hard to describe a breed in just a sentence or two. We are asked all of the time about Chessies so I understand what you are saying.

  2. I'm having trouble leaving a comment, so hope this one goes! I couldn't describe a Cavalier. That's hard! I just love your blog, it's one of my favorites!!

  3. That's funny. You are writing, you cannot reply to that and do justice to your dog all at once. I have an entire section on my blog that is dedicated to explaining pugs, with a separate page for pug temperament because it is too much information! But it's different I guess when we meet someone and can't really spend hours telling them about it. When someone asks us about pugs we say "They will be your shadow and your biggest fan" but I think that is true for so many other kinds of canines as well.