Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ski Trip


Rugby came with us on our mini vacation this year to Wisp. This is not the first time Rugby has stayed with me in a hotel, but I think it is the first time he has stayed with me in such a busy hotel. The whole first day I argued with Rugby over the appropriate use of his voice.

 He was certain that he should use it to silence our noisy neighbors. I was certain that he should not be using it at all. He compromised with me by saving his voice for only the really offensive behaviors of our neighbors instead.

Most of the time, really offensive behaviors are preceded by slightly-offensive behaviors, or not-really-offensive behaviors. For these noises, Rugby would growl as opposed to bark as part of the compromise. Being the opinionated little dog that he is, he did this guilt free and looked in the direction of the noise.

When the behavior became more offensive that this, but less offensive that "really" offensive, Rugby would then look at ME and growl. He did this as if to say, "I know you don't like when I yell at people but if you don't make them stop I will have no other choice. You do hear it don't you?"

At this point I had to remind him there were indeed other choices to be made, like ignoring the noise all together. This reminder was followed every single time by a deep sigh, laying down and letting slip one more grumble about the entire situation by Rugby. He has to make sure he gets the last word in!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Celebrate... Day 25


We made it, all 25 Days with new pictures for each one of them! This last one was the hardest to get. We searched all over for a good picture at our grandparents house and finally settled on using their shirts as our red and green objects!

It was a wonderful Christmas, especially since Rugby got to visit with all the cousins and his favorite person in the entire world (not an exaggeration)... my grandfather.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Disgust... Day 24

Day 24

Rugby wore pink today. I don't know how it happened, and neither does Rugby.

He is an outgoing dog, and has a big personality that screams "I AM A BOY." And somehow, the pink did not compliment that trait at all. We will make sure to leave the pink to the girls in the future.

Make sure to get to bed early tonight, or else Santa won't come! Rugby is already sleeping.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Playful... Day 23

Day 23

How dare I forget to bring Rugby's jacket to Applewoods today? Although he doesn't ask to come in, it is just too cold for me to let him run in the pack for too long. I think Rugby would have preferred the cold to having to come back in to defrost. Poor guy. Won't matter tomorrow either since he is getting a bath and is definitely NOT going out to play!

He will have to settle for some indoor playing and fun instead. :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Worn Out... Day 22

aDSC_0025Finals are over, and we are wasting no time starting our winter break! We got up bright and early to make it to the Open/Utility class this morning. Oh boy did Rugby work hard!

One of the things we worked on was doing scent articles with a couple delicious and smelly Zuke's Power bars as a distraction. You can see them in the first picture.

He kept waiting for me to tell him he didn't have to finish so he could avoid those treats completely. Better not to make a decision at all than to make the wrong one, I suppose. He sniffed half of them and then look at me like, "It's not here I already checked." Then he would go back to work checking the same half of them and look at me again. "It's NOT HERE.... I checked!" He did prevail after some time. What a good distraction those treats were! We need to practice that more!


After a nice long morning of training all the dogs went out to romp in the yard, including Rugby. What I didn't realize was that while we were training, it was warming up to a toasty 45* outside! The previously frozen ground was now much softer and what was left of the snow was melting quick!

Needless to say, when I called Rugby back in to take our red and green picture he was GROSS! Muddy feet and dirt spread all throughout his coat. He had not only been running with the unusually large number of Labs we had today but had found something good to roll in too. We borrowed Ellie's comb and tried to clean his face up a little. You can still see some dirt streaks in his beard though.

We borrowed Sugar, the lab for our photo today. We figured with his nice working retrieve and a whopping 84lbs to work with, he met the requirements for the pictures!

Day 22

Thanks for carrying Rugby around, Sugar!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mini malt... Day 21

Day 21

We were wandering around etsy when we stumbled across this way-to-cute maltese sculpture by Lynda Pleet, at Pleet Art. She has lots of other dog breeds too, and even some life size sculptures!

This is one of Rugby's early Christmas presents. He isn't too excited about it, but I was! :-p

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Day... Day 20


There was some good holiday fun happening before/during/after/around the Utility class tonight. It is almost Christmas after all, and there are no more dog classes until next year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finals... Day 19

Day 19

For a dog like Rugby, who takes training field trips nearly every day and makes frequent stops over at Applewoods Dog Training... this week as been miserable for him. It is finals week at UMBC and instead of a normal mentally and physically stimulating schedule for Rugby, he has been forced to stay at home and wait for the studying to stop. He has been spending his time trying to distract me for any length of time instead of participating in constructive activities.

If Rugby is lucky, our 25 Days of Christmas photo will involve him doing some sort of work. To accommodate him in this way we are taking a page out of Shiva's book, with her Petmas photo today. Now that we have a tree to decorate, it seems appropriate to break out the lights and ornaments! Perhaps having him help us with the decorating is what Rugby needs to forgive me for being so inattentive to him lately!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This one... Day 18

Day 18

The whole family, including Rugby went to pick out a Christmas tree today. It was a hard decision, and we didn't take home the tree I was campaigning for. The only red in the entire place was a plastic Folgers cup, right behind Rugby in the picture.

Friday, December 17, 2010

She is back... Day 17

Day 17

The sister is back from college, for now.
Now, where do we put all her stuff?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finally... Day 16

We finally got some SNOW! Rugby celebrated the snowfall with Ellie, Sanity and Holly at Applewoods.

There are lots more pictures HERE if you wanna take a look!

While we were waiting for the snow, we were able to get the video of our Utility match online.

The second go-out was pretty crappy, and I took the opportunity to fix him. Since this is not a non-qualifying mistake, we will still consider it progress. Everything else was good, except for Rugby stretching after the first article. (Hellooo, he knows THAT isn't allowed! lol)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to wrap a Maltese... Day 15

We have been inspired by a cat. Said cat posted an instructional video - "How To Wrap a Cat for Christmas" online. If you haven't seen it, you should.

And while I would never insult Rugby by calling him a cat... he does have some cat-like qualities to him.

Like his ability to be wrapped.

With that, I give you "How To Wrap a Maltese for Christmas"

If you can't see the video, this is what you are missing out on!
Day 15

Next time we just have to remember the bow!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Toys... Day 14

Rugby is trained to potty outside, as opposed to inside in a pan or on potty pads, etc. Even so, he has a doggy litter box, but not for doing his business.

Day 14

It is for his toys.

Not to long ago, the litter box started over flowing.
 So I went through and saved only the ones I can remember him picking out to play with. The rest went in a box by the door to give away to some other lucky dogs.

It was my mistake to not tape the box up. Soon enough Rugby was rumaging through the box taking out all the toys he never plays with and evenly distributing them all throughout the house and playing with every single one of them first. They are not any more accessibly sitting by the front door than they were in his litter box. So why does he decided NOW that he does indeed loves these toys just as much as the others?

I think it is his desperate plea to save them all. I guess he doesn't like sharing much.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dropping a hint... Day 13

Day 13Sorry for today's picture quality, apparently the bookshelf is in the darkest corner of the house!

Rugby has a section of the bookshelf all to himself, to keep his books. He has training books, raw diet books, dog psychology books, obedience rule books... you get the point. He shares his shelf with my horse books, although he is of the opinion that he should expand his collection and claim the entire shelf.

Lucky for Rugby, they are only on the second shelf so he can read and refer back to them at his discretion. I am certain that is how he passes the time while I am away. He is plenty tall enough if he stands on his hind legs to see all of his books.

Day 13

Once he is up there, he can see all of his options and start making decisions about what he wants to read. He already knew what he was looking for when he went to the bookshelf today, though.

Day 13

The hardest part of the whole process is getting it OFF the shelf once he has found what he is looking for. This task was even harder before he read his 'The Koehler Method of Open Obedience' book and perfected the working retrieve.

Day 13  Day 13
Day 13

In the end, Rugby always prevails. He is one Mighty Maltese, after all.

Day 13

Since he had to work so hard picking and pulling out his book of choice, he must take a few seconds to relax before moving on!

Day 13

Once his 5 minute break was over, he made his point loud and clear.
"I think its about time you hand over my dinner. Make sure it's spaghetti."

Day 13

Having nothing to do with Rugby's dinner, or spaghetti...
We participated in Coffee with a Canine the other day. Head on over and check it out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Art... Day 12

Day 12

Rugby qualified at his Utility match today.
We weren't scored, but we did get video.
I'll put it up later.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bedtime... Day 11

Day 11

I bought this bright green crate pad when I first got Rugby along with a bright orange crate pad. I thought I ordered two of the exact same thing, in different colors. That is not what they sent me.

The orange crate pad was exactly what I had expected, both in size and shape. This green one seemed a little smaller and had overstuffed sides, which decreased the size of the bed significantly. I had plans to return it.  There was no way my (then) 4 month old Maltese was going to fit in it, and even if he did fit, he certainly wouldn't fit when he finished growing!

Rugby surprised me though because not only could he fit, but he loved the challenge of squishing himself up to fit in the little tiny bed. He still loves it today, and prefers it over the orange one. Go figure.

Friday, December 10, 2010

THAT is new... Day 10

Day 10

Meet Casey and Diesel.
Didn't take long for them to notice there was a new Christmas decoration. Casey was most interested in him, probably because she hasn't formally met him yet. Rugby wasn't so sure he was comfortable on the mantle, but he was a good sport about it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gloves... Day 9

Day 9
Rugby and I occasionally need to go back to our circle of gloves to keep it fresh in his brain. We put our 11 gloves (white, green and brown) 15ft. from Rugby in a circle. We stay in the middle pivoting around and I send Rugby to random gloves until they are all gone. Usually when we run out of gloves we move on.  

Today, the first one wasn't so hot so we did it again. But not before we spent some time defrosting in the car! Brr!!! Rugby wore his sweater for the second round.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Festive... Day 8

Rugby and I have been busy training the past few days. We are trying to stay motivated so that the chilly temperatures don't scare us into staying inside. Yesterday we tried to do as much as we can inside, doodling and practicing fronts and finishes. We were ultimately forced to go outside to practice gloves. This morning we threw our jumps up and did go outs and signals just before we froze to death. It is only going to get colder from here! :-O

Day 8   Day 8

We went for a quick walk around the neighborhood and stumbled across this house. They had a fully functioning Ferris wheel, giving rides to stuffed snowmen, penguins, and Santa! Their neighbors had a teeter totter with similar stuffed toys going up and down. Rugby thought it was a little bit scary and gave them a good, loud bark to get them to stop. He was unsuccessful.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BFF... Day 7

Day 7

Rugby and Cab have been buddies for a really long time. Since having them do things together is always easier than separating them, it didn't take long to get these pictures! Caruso even joined in the photoshoot!
aDSC_0238    Day 7    Day 7

Monday, December 6, 2010

Theft... Day 6

Just a friendly reminder to all our readers to keep track of your bags while you travel this holiday season!

Day 6

Of course, you could always get Rugby to do it for you. :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On the Road... Day 5

Day 5  Day 5

Its been a long day on the road for Rugby. One of our friends is interested in Italian Greyhounds so we took a trip to a IG specialty match and rescue parade that was hosted by a local club. Rugby had a blast with all the puppies and we got to meet some really nice dog people too.

After the match, we re-grouped for a while and then off to PA to drop the brother off.
A delicious dinner of chicken breast and chicken hearts for Rugs and he has been sleeping ever since.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Helpers...Day 3

I bet you're wondering what Pollyanna is looking at.
Day 3

Just a couple of cute dogs is all.
Day 3

Who says little dogs can't help?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I think so...Day 2

Day 2

Found this dumbbell laying around Applewoods today...
 I think it is red. I thought it might be orange for a while. In the photos it looks like something else all together. Lets just pretend it is red for now. I know for a fact that the dog bed is green though! That has to count for something!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When it rains... Day 1

It is pouring down rain outside at the moment so Rugby and I went on a search for a dry place to train this morning. I thought the strip mall down the street would be a good place since the sidewalks are all covered. We went and started looking for a place to do signals. While we weren't getting rained on under the cover of the shopping center, the ground was still wet. I thought it would be unreasonable of me to ask him to work when it was that cold AND wet, so we kept walking.

We didn't find a dry place to train before Rugby started to shiver, so we gave up and wondered around the pet store that was in the mall instead.

It wasn't a completely useless trip though because we did manage to the the first of our red and green photos for our countdown. I took his jacket off and laid it in the cart so he had something dry to sit on for the photo.