October 30, 2013

WW 10.30.13: Oh Really?

Ruby is skeptical of the "chocolate is bad for dogs" line

October 25, 2013

Fall Colors

I have added a training diary keep track of our walks and work on commands, and I've also discovered a most beautiful and ideal place to walk Ruby, the 220 acre grounds of a local private school.  They have a small hayfield, two lakes, and a trail through the grounds.  I think it may be somewhere I can do some long-line work with Ruby, not to mention photo-ops like these:

October 22, 2013

Toy Story

I wanted my first post here to have some rhyme or reason to it, a general introduction and the short (two and a half months now) history of Ruby and I.   I struggled to classify this blog - training journal? Reactive dog blog? Philosophical canine-themed musings?  The truth is it will most likely be all of the above.  A relationship with Ruby means living in the moment and as Tim Gunn says, "making it work."   If Ruby were running things, the first thing she'd like to tell you about is her new toy, as proven by her happily dragging it out to show my boyfriend when he arrived last night.  Okay, Ruby kind of runs things, so our first post will be a product review of sorts. 

Ruby spends the work week home alone, with a short lunchtime walk with myself or the dog walker.  She splits her time between her "den" (crate) and the gated-off kitchen where she has a view of the small privacy-fenced patio and the comfort of an oversized dog bed that used to belong to Freya, a member of Ruby's "pack in the sky" that predated her.  While Ruby spends most of the time I'm gone sleeping (usually a stuffed and frozen Kong will remain undisturbed if left with her), when I get home in the evenings she is ready for a walk, her "enrichment dinner" (fed out of a puzzle toy or while doing mat work and focus games), and several hours of playtime while I do things around the house, read or watch T.V. with my boyfriend.

She has an ever-growing toy-chest, and because she clearly enjoys them so much, it is hard not to go overboard buying her things on Doggy Loot and Amazon.  She likes to make trip after trip to the toy basket until most of its contents are scattered around the living room by the end of the night.  She loves balls - especially ones that squeak - and her red and purple rope tug.  Because she adores playing "seek and destroy" with the squeaker of plushies, but also tends to swallow any small pieces (ears, tails), they are going to phased out of her toy chest.  I was curious to know how she would like the Kyjen Hide A Squirrel Extreme.  She approaches many new things with caution, and initially that is how she reacted to the stump portion of the toy, although the squeaky squirrel was a hit right off the bat.  I let her investigate the stump for short periods until she started barking at it, and then I would put it away.  Two nights ago, I placed the squirrel in the stump and presented it to her again.  Once she discovered she could still make the squirrel chirp by gnawing on the tree, she was sold.  This is without a doubt her favorite toy now, and keeps her occupied for hours.  She has not yet successfully extracted the squirrel, but she sticks her snout in the holes, rolls it around, pounces on it, and even brings the toy up on the sofa - quite a feat for a little dog with a big toy! It seems very durable so far - not a tear or mark on the outer tree stump or the mod angular squirrel. 

What is your dog's favorite toy?