November 5, 2013

Fall Back

The return to standard times means weeknight walks in the dark for Ruby and I.  While my neighborhood is fairly well lit, we'll probably be staying closer to home as it gets darker and colder.  We will likely see fewer triggers, particularly bikes and skateboards, but the rabbits are out in full force! (Although she wants to chase them desperately, I don't really consider rabbits a "trigger.")

On one of the first chilly evening walks, I noticed Ruby was shivering.  Coming from the south as she did, and with a fairly sleek and thin coat, I decided she would need a winter wardrobe.  She hates the sound of the Velcro on her waterproof jacket, but got the hang of getting her legs through the leg-holes of her sweaters very quickly.  She's quite sure that the sweater inhibits walking normally in the house, but soon forgets about it when we head outside.

Abbreviated walks mean extended indoor training sessions!  Ruby can now ring her doorbell on command ("ring ring") but has yet to associate it with asking to go out.  I have no doubt we'll get there, and she already gets my attention with a distinct whine, so it wasn't even a necessary tool, just another thing to teach this sharp, busy girl!  "Roll over" seems to have regressed - she gets so excited that she sort of flings herself around and scoots in a circle.  We are working on a more useful cue, "relax," which means lay flat on her side with head down.  As with most of her tricks and cues, she continues to impress me by having a grasp on it after only two or three days.  We have also started "bye bye," a wave with her paw.  She is very "handsy" as it is and it is not at all difficult to get her to touch or paw at things.  She really enjoys her new trick, "over," in which I tip a dining room chair on its side and she springs back and forth over it.  If we could just tap in to more focus, this girl is a shoe-in for agility.  I still want to get a hula hoop and build a some sort of little jump for her.

As we gear up for winter, Ruby and I will be cozying up to stay warm and expanding her trick and training repertoire.  How does your routine change with the season?


  1. I enjoyed reading about all her tricks, especially the jumping over the chair part. I bet adding a hoop would be lots of fun!

    This reminded me of this show I used to watch when I was younger where dogs would compete on an obstacle course for who could do it the fastest; there was a fabric tunnel, and cones to weave in and out of and a sort of see-saw they had to go up and back down. I loved that show!

  2. Dog agility! I hope that someday Ruby and I might be able to train for that, but she needs more focus and being-out-in-public skills beforehand.

    The speed at which she picks us tricks is astonishing. Sometimes I'll just throw something new out that we've only practiced once or twice, and she'll nail it. She learns stuff faster than I can think up new tricks! I told E. (I'm going to have to come up with some clever blog reference for him) that I would love to find a little toy piano and teach her to play it.

  3. I can just picture that in my head, her stepping on keys to form a tune. How cute would that be! She's still young too, I can only imagine all the things she'll know once she reaches adulthood.

    Maybe you can refer to E. as your paramour or lifemate. ;-)

  4. This morning I had the thought of referring to him as El Caballero - on our Spain flight the attendants call guys "caballero" and he got a kick out of that. Of course then it sounds as if he's my Latin lover...


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