Monday, February 28, 2011

Can I help you?

Rugby is not demanding at all. He does not climb up on my and stare intently at me when he wants something. He does not start whining if I ignore him. He also does not throw temper tantrums and STAND beside me for exactly 49 minutes before laying down on the Sit-On-The-Dog Exercise. Those things just don't happen.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The "G" Word

We just can't seem to let go of the go-outs and move on completely to directed jumping. I think they may drive me insane. Until we get to that point though, we will just keep practicing and dreaming of perfectly straight go-outs.

We snuck away into the other room before Thursday Night class the other day and used the only things we could find as "props" for our go-outs. I started off with just one chair, that Rugby had to run under. I varied where the chair was, to encourage him to keep going straight for the whole time (not just for the first 20ft).

He actually enjoyed going under the chair, so I added a few more. The next two he had to run in between instead of under. Eventually we ended up with this set up. It took a couple tries to get the hang of it but it finally clicked. 

I felt we exhausted this set up, so I went to the only other thing left in the room - an agility tunnel! I knew I didn't want to have to climb in the tunnel after Rugby so I did the first two by setting our targets at the other end. It wasn't a problem at all! 

Since we were on a roll with the go-outs, it seemed appropriate that we would continue with them today. We have practiced this way before, but this was the first time we were actually any good at it. We used our broad jump boards spaced about 3ft apart and standing on end. They made different 'paths' for me to direct Rugby through. Phew, this was hard! The video is us working about 20ft from the boards. We went a little further today but needs some more practice before we can do this at full distance. 

The thing I was throwing after he sat was his target/retrieve stick. He LOVES it, except it is apparently hard to find in the grass! Diesel, the shepherd, was also off to the side. He is to blame for the whining and for the interruption to remind him to keep 'placing.' Sighhhhhh...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


For a few short minutes every night, a soft crunching noise fills the living room. It is a very distinct crunch, sort of a sloppy crunch as opposed to a crack or snapping. It is coming from Rugby's cage, as he methodically swallows baby rabbits whole. He always starts with the head, for some reason.

Rugby is fed a raw meaty bones diet, although his dinner doesn't always have a face when he eats it. He loves the raw food, and I love it too! His poop is smaller and hardly smells at all, but the best part is that his teeth get cleaned with all that crunching, chewing, and ripping he does.

There is a down side to this type of diet, and it is mostly inconvenience! Rugby has his own freezer and he has to remind me every morning to take his food out so it can defrost in time for dinner. Our other complaint is for the especially messy meals that leaves Rugby with a blood stained beard and legs that need cleaning. Oh the things we do for our dogs!

What do your dogs eat? Would love to see videos of your dogs while they 'chow down!'

Saturday, February 19, 2011


It was SUPER windy outside today. So windy that they closed I-95 down because of a brush fire! :-O You could see the smoke from Applewoods, and we are glad that is ALL that we saw!

Rugby found a different way to deal with the wind...



... he went around hiding behind his friends!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentines Day!


Rugby didn't visit Ellie this year for Valentines day, so we had to recycle photos from last year. :-p

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The alarm went off at 6am this morning to allow time for a bath before the Obedience Match today. I got up first, went to the restroom, and came back to see where Rugby had decided to sleep last night. I found him in one of his beds and bent down to ask if he was ready to get up. Instead of getting up, he rolled over onto his back. I was not able to resist itching Rugby's belly for him as his eyes slowly closed and he went back to sleep.

I wasn't about to object to his proposition so I agreed to set the alarm clock for 7am at get some extra sleep.

An hour later, when the alarm went off Rugby was quick to climb back into the bed and wake me up by staring intently at me, 4 inches away from my face. I guess he needs to push the snooze button some days too!!

Rugby was great at the Match again today. I forgot to get someone to video me this week. :-/ I was a little worried since we had to re-negotiate the go-outs this week, but he remembered exactly what he was supposed to do when we got there. Way to go, Rugby! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hearing Double

This big guy is an Irish Water Spaniel that we met at an Obedience match today. He isn't just some random dog either... turns out, his name is Rugby too!  Since he has such a good name, it automatically elevates him to a level of coolness that other dogs have a hard time reaching. :-p 

What are the odds that we would run into another Rugby today? I think thats pretty cool! 

Rugby did well today and had qualifying runs in Open and Utility. I can't wait till March for the real thing! 
... and if you aren't completely bored of watching Utility runs, this is Rugby's from today. 

Friday, February 4, 2011


Just because our immediate goal is a Utility Dog Title, we can't forget about our open work. Last night at class we did some really fun group stays to keep the dogs on their toes!

The Novice dogs and Open dogs were split up and took turn doing stays on the ramp into the other room. While they were on the ramp the other dogs were heeled past them. It was tight, but they dogs stayed for the most part, excluding some head bending to get a good sniff of the other dogs as they walked past..

Once the heeling group had made two passes, we one-by-one starting with Rugby called our dogs out of the stay. Since I behind the half wall, Rugby was SURE I was in the other room and I had to call him again to get him to go up the ramp instead of down it. When he figured out where I was, he was even more exited to get to me and could hardly contain himself to sit politely in front of me.


After he did his share of heeling while the novice dogs did stays, he went back in for a down stay while the novice dogs did recalls down the ramp. 


It was a great set-up and gave the group stays a whole different dynamic!