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!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fun Things About and From The Dog Show!

One of the fun things about The Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows is that when you get home, you are tired and ready for beddy-bye.
The socialization is just tops. I mean, you get to meet a lot of people. You get to meet a lot of dogs. You get  a lot of attention and hear lots of oooos and ahhhhhs. There are scents of other dogs (of course), but also... shampoos, hamburgers, popcorn, bbq bones, squirrels on a stick and my personal favorite... cinnamon roasted pecans!

It is the best time ever. It was a blast, and I can't say enough great things about my time there... In fact, I pity the boys who are not yet (<-- word that my the Mom made me add) well behaved enough to attend! 

And speaking of well behaved boys, today's special GRRH Alumni were my The Cousins Rizzi and Zeke! They, along with my The Aunt Karen, picked Mom up in the red trolley... destination Dog Show!

Here is Rizzi, working the booth... He's a cute boy with a cute personality. He is outgoing, but can be shy. He's also bit of a 'breedist'! He is wary of other breeds, but a huge extravert with another Golden!

And today, this Sweet boy found a girlfriend! I don't know her name, and I don't have any details... but this cute young Golden Girl came by the booth twice. And let's just say, Rizzi was quite smitten!
Cousin Zeke is a handsome boy with a steady and calm presence. He rocked the donation shirt, and brought in the big bucks! I mean, seriously...

Who could resist these soulful eyes and sweet smile???
Zeke worked the booth like a pro. And he was irresistable to the passers-by! There was a lot of heavy petting going on today!!!

My the Mom says this photo melts her heart.... That Zekey Boy is adorable!
Another fun thing about the dog show is when your photos are displayed.

On the other hand, it becomes a little wierd when your the Mom takes a photo of your photos... every day of the show. But then... I guess that's what makes her Our The Mom.

The Luke 'School Photo'... top/center. The Whitson Herd... center/right. And The Reufus... bottom/right.
Cousin Buddy of the Herd below the 'R'. The Me below The Buddy.

Our The Luke below the 'H'!
I don't know why the Mom keeps doing that. She just does. So, let's move on...!

Another great thing about the dog show is the neat stuff you can buy there. Our the Mom has quite an extensive dog t-shirt collection, and she loves adding to it at this event. Among her favorites this year are these Dog is Good Collection tees:

It's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone!

And since 'Sit' is the Reuf's best command, he's proud that this great shirt no longer applies to him!:

Your Dog doesn't know SIT

And probably the funnest of the things about The Dog Show... is the surprises and treats that are brought home! And today, the Mom was briefly educated on an exotic, yet special treat that she did bring home for us to enjoy!

Yes. Today we were introduced to Whole Elk Antlers, and not just any Whole Elk Antlers... but these were from Elk who have entered new careers with more conservative antler codes/policies.

And as you could guess... Little Reufus took right to his.
Chaw chaw chaw chaw chaw chaw chaw...
And as for me, I immediately began worrying about the poor Elk who is wandering the corridors of some corporate high-rise... missing his headware.
And then there is the Reuf... thinking of me and my antler... as I think of the Elk and his antler...
And then he makes his THIEF move. And then a great refereeing session ensues.

And then the antlers are put away.

And still, the Reufus begs.
I really couldn't care less. At a certain point, my antler is either sitting between my paws with propriety but not purpose, stolen by Bad Boy or removed from sight!

Someone remembers and thinks a good 'Sit' will bring the antlers back.

He tried his best, but it was too near bed time to be successful. Night Night, Little Reuf! And now with Gluttonous Little Boy tucked in his bed, I can now share with you... 

The Very Goodest and Funnest Thing From The Dog Show:

Elk Antlers!
OMD!!! These are good!!! You have to know they are, because... It's dark outside. I'm awake. And I'm chewing like MAD!!!
 I'm in love with...Venison Joe's!
The Venison Joe's Expert who sold the Mom these tasty treats... selected these antlers for us. The Mom bought two for us to compete over, as she is trying to break the Reuf from his theivery.

And the nice man, who I love with all my heart, selected this rich split antler for my non-aggressive chewing pleasure!!! 
You all might also know how much I like staying quiet and passive 23 hours of the day... just to let loose for the 1 hour that I spend with the Mom after Reuf has gone to his 'room'. I can't help it if I'm also enjoying the noise that my SPLIT antler makes. Just saying. Hee hee.

Stay tuned for more Fun and Wonderful Things About and From The Dog Show!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Bleu Day at The Dog Show!

The Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows in in full swing, and the Highlight of the entire show was my appearance at the GRRH Booth yesterday!
As you can see... I was all smiles!
I took my role very seriously, as I greeted our visitors. I was kind and gentle and...
Everyone commented on my cuteness and my soft fur.
And I surprised a number of people when I stood up...

Many people asked with great care and discretion... "Ahem... Is he a little taller than the typical golden?"
And lots of people wanted to adopt me... including this little girl and her family!
I liked the little one, and gave great consideration to the fact that they did not have a puppy at home, but the fact is... I know I'm the sunshine in my the Mom's day, and I'm one of the best reasons she lives! So... I told them, "No, No. I'm taken, and only here to tell my story..."
"When I was surrendered to GRRH in 2008, I had no hair on my back. I came with a 2" tall stack of veterinary care sheets, a basket of toys, a box of bandanas and clothes, shampoo and brushes... and my famous and treasured green bowl. My previous family obviously loved me...

They thought that I had allergies, and had treated for such. I lost my fur when they moved to Houston, so that was a natural assumption. Nothing seemed to be helping...

Once with the GRRH organization, I was tested for allergies, and my only significant sensitivity is dairy... so that couldn't be the source of my hair loss. Now that I've been with my the Mom who understands me, she knows... My original family began having children upon their arrival in Houston, and I was having a nervous breakdown!"

Three years later, and look at me now!!!

Here I am with GRRH volunteers, Nancy and Jan... and cute, silly and available Bobby!
Take Two.

Take Three!
Oh... And this little boy was VERY sweet. I loved the way he talked to me!
Many people melted into my upturned eyes!
And the Mom was quite taken by my unadulterated cuteness!
I corrected her by saying... "Awwww... The Word is HANDSOME, Mom!!!"
Just for fun, let me give you a tour of our booth...

Below the 'R' on the banner, you will see my Cousin Buddy of The Herd. And below the 'H' is The Luke! In the corner on the panel coming toward the right side of the photo... top left is The Luke. Bottom center is the Reuf. And below the 'R' on the wall of the booth is The Me!

On another booth panel, are these photos of The Luke and Little Reufus! The Mom sent in photos of the three of us... with the same serious expression, from the same distance, same pose. Once the show is over, the photos are hers for a donation... and she has BIG plans to display them side by side!

I'm the only one of my family who only had one photo on the Alumni Wall, but then... I'm the only one who actually got to come to the show!

Well, that's not exactly true... The Luke was there, too. He is everywhere we go, because he's in our hearts.

And the BIG reason I was at The Show yesterday, was to announce and formally introduce...

'For The Love of Luke'
a fund dedicated
to providing new life
for Senior Goldens

The Luke made a loving and meaningful difference in our lives.
This fund will make a loving and meaningful difference in the lives of Senior Goldens.
The Mom will see to it...
For the Love of Luke!