Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bubble Bath... And Beyond Basic!!!

As you know, Thursday nights are bittersweet for me. On the one paw, my the Mom is away from home... And on the other, the Reufus is also away from home!!!

Bring on the bubble bath, cookies in bed, and all my other guilty pleasures! Join me if you will!!!

Close your eyes and picture me here in my pink bathrobe and shower cap. Why, you ask, do I need a shower cap when I'm taking a bubble bath???

To ensure that my ears are dry when the Mom gets home... of course!!! But I digress...

Tonight is the first night of Reufus' new class... Beyond Basic. You might wonder, as I did, what is involved in "Beyond"... And here is the course description:

Beyond Basic See spot come, jump and sit up! During the six-week session, you will teach your dog to go through, up, and over obstacles. As your dog becomes proficient with the jump and sit, you will introduce him to a variety of tricks. In addition to teaching new skills and tricks, you will continue to enhance your relationship and rapport with your canine companion by reinforcing the skills introduced in previous classes. After mastering the skills and concepts introduced in this class, your dog will be ready for Hollywood!

[My the Aunt Karen sent us some new photos that she took at last week's graduation... so I thought I would use them to illustrate his experience tonight.]

Having eaten half of a koozie on the trip, The Reuf arrived... did small business outside, sat politely at the door until invited to enter... and then greeted his favorite trainer, Tracie, with enthusiasm!
Reuf was pretty wound up, as he discovered that NONE of his friends from the last class were joining him... but the arena began to fill with other, fresh and new friends (i.e. distractions)!
Here he is, fully engaged with the Mom, as he is supposed to be. In truth tonight... at least at first... he was checking out new pals, that included:

Toy Poodle
Standard Poodle
Border Collie
Australian Shepherd
Lab / Lab Mix
Great Dane
Golden Retriever Mix
Who Am I Missing?
First, there were loose leash walks... varying speeds with sits. Reuf did pretty well, but did have some distractions. Next... the group gathered in a circle. Each dog connected with their person, as one by one... dogs took turn weaving in and out of the circle, an arm's length from the sitting dogs.

Reuf did great with the distractions (or make that he AND the Mom didn't get it right away... but they did learn with the help of Sandy and Tracie)... just like he did last week, when Tracie was his distraction!

Next, the students demonstrated their SPINS and REVERSES. This happens to be a favorite of Reufus. And he did it over and over and over... with enthusiasm!
Next... a new trick was introduced... "the wave".

The Mom worked with Reufus. Sandy worked with Reufus. And Tracie worked with Reufus. Sandy and Tracie were able to identify small measures of compliance, and they rewarded him. The Mom promised them that she would continue to work with him at home...

And she did when she got home. The first time she waved at me... I waved back. She waved with the other hand, and I waved with my other paw.

She turned to Reuf, and said... "Seeeeeee?????"

The Reufus loves to be an example in class, as he was in class last week... but there was no need for his volunteering spirt this week [in part, due to the maturity of the other dogs... and also because the other dogs and their people seem to be focused and on point. My the Mom worries that this is too much too soon for the Reuf... and she worries that she won't be able to keep up!!!]
Reufus did GREAT with the A-FRAME (42"-48" high), up and over, quickly and then recall. He also did great with the BOX. Sit until release!
And Christy worked with him on his SIT/STAY and JUMP. The Mom is also grateful to her for addressing the LAZY SIT. I think it's safe to say... this will be the primary focus of this next week!!!

Ok... that and the lazy lay. This is not the lazy lay. This is the just hanging out, chicken / frog leg lay. And this photo was taken of Reuf last week when he was letting it all hang out... after his obstacle course. He was proud!
Reuf leaves you with another glimpse of his lazy sit. And if I know my the Mom, she will be asking that I fill my blog with his newly learned pretty sits. We'll see. This is MY blog, after all, and not his!!!
And for now I leave you with a tender "Good Night". And the Reufus is just asking to be put to bed.
Knock on wood: Reufus is slowly and quietly assimilating into every day life. Once last week... and again once this week... the Mom missed him, sought him out... and discovered him relaxed, just hanging out like a normal boy! I kinda think that a normal family is in bloom for the three of us!!!


Scout 'n Freyja said...

We ♥ your lazy sit, the Reufus - looks just like ours - and that can't be all bad, can it?

♥I am Holly♥ said...

It sounds like a great time for everyone!! The Reufus is sure making great progress and I'm still laughing over The Bleu in his pink bathroom and shower cap!! Love the pictures!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

Sheila and Bob said...

The best words we have heard was your just saying "I kinda think that a normal family is in bloom for the three of us!!! These words just warm out hearts, it is what we have been hoping and praying for.
Reufus seems to be doing very well in the short time he has been training, his lazy sit is so cute, it's kinda like when Mom & Dad slump in a chair instead of sitting in it the right way.
The mental picture of you in your pink bathrobe and shower cap is one we cannot get out of our heads...BOL....especially the reason for the shower cap ...dry ears...
You and the Mom keep the faith Reufus is going to do you all proud and you and he will become like hot fudge and vanilla ice cream.

Hamish & Sophie

houndstooth said...

Morgan has a lazy sit, too! Dad tells her not to sit like a "hoochie mama" but she just ignores him! I like your Thursday night outfits and routines, but I myself prefer to relax in bed, reading and eating bonbons. I am certain that if we ever met, we would be great friends, Bleu!


Sam said...

When I took Sam years ago they used to encourage the lazy sit - it meant the dog wasn't going to pop up immediately!


The Thundering Herd said...

The hu-dad chuckled at the reference to The Mom searching out The Reufus when all was too quiet. Our hu-dad knows that when we get quiet, it is time to see what we are up to.

Shane Kent Louis said...

Woof! Woof! Hey Blue! you look handsome and brave on your training with your Dad! keep it up! ^_^

Dog Fence

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Progress comes at different speeds for different souls but it certainly is clear that progress is being made! I think Reufus is "getting" the training stuff but more important is starting to "get" the forever family commitment! Woohoo for you all!