Blog Posts


People who don’t know him think he looks

dangerous–and that is good, since he is a big

pushover.  When we walk, those afraid of dogs cross

the street.  I like having a big, dark shape beside me

at night.
On the other hand, the DSM shepherd people had him in

their laps in two seconds.
Re the figure 8, the judge was just shaking her head.

She said something like “he certainly is pulling

everything he can think of today.”
Now that it is all over, I am re-thinking.  For all my

previous dogs the solution to heeling problems was to

go back on leash and correct.  And that is what I did

with Rafe, but now I think it was a mistake.  His head

seems to see heeling on leash as something totally

different from heeling off leash, so when I took the

leash off in the ring he was not sure what to do.  We

are now back to trying a bit of off leash work, just

to see.  I am correcting him by walking into him, etc.

Another New Title!

Mr. Rafe is now UCDX Mr. Rafe.  I will try to do a new

picture for you, after we get back to d-ville and the

Onward to Utility!

We can brag about the title, but the performance was

not pretty.  Don’t know what happened—in August he

was respectable, but then he turned into a fruitcake.

We are not supposed to end the figure 8 exercise by

standing up on the back legs, kissing the handler, and

then sitting sideways in front asking if that is cute

My friend Sherry, who saw him at a fun match, says

that watching him herd me around the ring is adorable.

 Is this by any chance hereditary?

MacMonster and Jumps

Just a quick question about Mac and jump training.  We

have started both dumbbell and jumps in his Novice

class (I like this instructor—he assumes everyone is

continuing to Open and probably Utility; last week

showed us the beginning of a retrieve training video

that was very good—turned out to be a TriTronics

tape, so I hadn’t seen it, and he turned it off when

they moved to the e-collar part, so this was just on

take and hold exercises).  Anyway, he had the bigger

dogs in class starting with a 16″ jump.  Mac had been

doing an occasional 20″ at home.  But this morning I

forgot to change Rafe’s arrangement, and the Mac

cleared 24″ with no problems.  I suspect he could do

the old 36″ requirement easily, but we don’t have to.
After his quick lesson (much too hot to keep going) we

did a little tennis ball, and now I have to take three

balls out there.  For a while I could get by with two

and do the “trade” routine, but now he just carries

two at all times, so I need a third.  And he has

absolutely no sense about stopping when he is getting

too hot.

Rafe the Beautiful

Last night when we were coming back from the late walk

the local K-9 officer pulled up, just because he

wanted to say hello to Rafe.  He says he admires him

every morning when we are out for the early walk—I

didn’t even know he saw him, since I think they live

down a street I don’t cover on the tour.  He is

currently working a Mal, but clearly is a shepherd

man.  Rafe just posed and gave him that naive puppy

look.  Being beautiful is what Rafe does best.