After transforming the closet into a studio with a few blankets, running a comb through Rugby and taking a couple of practice photos to make sure I wouldn't set his ears on fire, we were set. Since Rugby works with food distractions all the time, I didn't think there would be a problem with Rugby and the cake. As I expected, as soon as he considered taking a bite, he was successfully intercepted with a "leave it" command.
It was too successful. In an effort to follow my instruction, Rugby promptly turned his head up at the cake and refused to look at or towards it, avoiding any temptation to dig in. Every once in a while he would glance back at the cake (without moving his head) and lick his lips so that I would know just how hard he was working at his "leave it."
While that is exactly what I asked him to do, it makes it almost impossible to get the picture I had envisioned. No amount of squeaky toys or treats could get him to do any better than this picture. It is close enough, but next year we are sticking with party hats. That should be easier.
Happy Birthday, Rugby!