Sunday, July 1, 2012

Philosphohy and Reality

"Having a personal philosophy is like  having a pet marmoset, because it may be very attractive when you acquire it, but there maybe situations when it will not come in handy at all."
                                                                                             ~Lemony Snicket

"Be happy."

That's great.

Now what?

After our trip to the BWCA, I had a vague idea that I would do more hiking with Rubi. She seems to enjoy it just a little bit more than my other dogs, and I love hiking, so it seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, my right knee still hasn't recovered from our trip, and I've been given strict doctor's orders not to - well, basically not to do anything I enjoy. Or stairs (because who really enjoys stairs?).  So I'm hesitant to make any goals that revolve around being more physically active.

That's not to say we won't be doing anything at all. I believe that trained dogs are happier dogs. They have opportunities that poorly behaved dogs just don't get. Rubi loves the work we do with the dog safety program, so I've signed her up for one at the end of the month. It will be her first program with another dog (Andy the Arm Candy, who she lived with, so I'm hoping will be no big deal), and it will her first time doing more than one program in a single day.

Typically, ARLP's Dog Safety programs run about 20-30 minutes each, and I know Rubi can handle that. The day I've signed us up for will be three programs, so Rubi will be working pretty solidly for a whole hour and a half. This might seem like a big jump, but in February we did a presentation at a high school on impulse control that was an hour long, and it wasn't a disaster. So the program at the end of the month with Andy seems like a reasonable challenge.

Rubi rockin' the impulse control.
Dog Safety programs that are appropriate for Rubi only come along every few months, though. Which means we need something else to occupy our time. I have a few other vague ideas for activities that don't involve a lot of moving on my part, but all of them involve being around other dogs.

Houston, we have a problem.

Every our meltdown with the GSD back in March (and I do mean "our meltdown" - I handled that incident about as well as B did), Rubi's been inconsistent in her reactions to other dogs. Sometimes she's her old self; sometimes, she's her really old, banshee screamin' self. She's gotten a bit unpredictable, too, which never used to be a problem. I can't always pick out which dogs she'll pitch a fit over, and which ones she'll be okay with. It doesn't help that I avoided the issue in favor of working on behaviors for the camping trip, but it's something we're going to have to work on in order to move on with our lives.

So we've once again resumed the search for a Rubi-appropriate class. I've had a few promising leads, and it looks like it'll come down to what's available when my next paycheck comes in. One thing's for sure -

There's happy times ahead!

Rubi loves herself some school learnin'.

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