February 23, 2011

Pupdate: We Want To Pump...Roo Up!

My, Ruby is looking pretty buff, dontcha think? Actually, the "weight" she's holding is really just a light plastic tool used to train her to hold things in her mouth and carry them around.

It's important for a service dog to be accustomed to the mouthfeel of different objects and materials. I'd introduced this concept to Roo as a puppy by letting her experience the sensation of things like keys, remote controls, utensils, a plastic cup, phones, etc. Now in advanced training, she's learning to take lots of items and hold on to them. It's a valuable skill many service dogs need when partnered with individuals with mobility-related disabilities.

And you never know what they might need to retrieve! I remember one night while Roo was living with us, I accidentally dropped half a lemon in the kitchen. Both dogs responded to "Leave It," but they were intrigued, so the whole thing turned into a practice session. First, I let Kiva pick it up. She spit it right out, then picked it up again very gingerly with just the tippy tips of her teeth, then spit it out again and made a PTOOEY! face. (Yep, dogs can, and it is hilarious!) Then I let Roo have the lemon, and she just held it like a ball — no problem with the taste — in fact, she seemed to like it!

As always, so many thanks to S for the photos.


Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

She looks terrific. Did you see the video we did for @K9Cuisine, where we tested which flavors Lilly could taste ... including lemon? It was very cute.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

OMD, doesn't she just look so beautiful!!! Way to go, Ruby Girl.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Rachel said...

hahaha about the lemon! My how Ruby is growing, she is gonna be such a GREAT service to someone one day.

Rudy - The dog with a blog said...

Wonderful pictures, she looks great!

Rudy's Raiser

Anonymous said...

Ruby you look great and your doing so well. Keep up the good work. Very cute story about the lemon.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

How nice to see Roo again!

Thanks for sharing!


Carly Findlay said...

She is looking so beautiful :)
Funny about the lemon!!! Toby and Jazz made that same face!

Lori Jablons said...

So happy to see Roo fighting the good fight. That headline is also quite hilarious! :)

Erin and Co. said...

Aww yay a Roo update!!

We gave your blog an award at Raising Rob We'd love you to come by and check it out!

KB said...

Roo is looking awesome, and she's holding that dumbell up perfectly! That was my hardest part when I taught K this skill - getting her to hold her head up so that I could reach the object without having to stoop.

Roo looks more like a grown-up in each photo. Wow!

1000 Goldens said...

Roo-Roo is such a lady now, I can't believe how much she has grown! The lemon story is great :)

Whidbey Woman said...

You painted a pretty funny image there of dog meets lemon :)

Amy said...

Ruby looks great! I'm going to have to get out the camera and grab a lemon. I have to see this face!

TwoSpecialWires said...

Oh my. She looks amazing. Fabulous. Brilliant. You must be so proud. So very proud.

Jake and Fergi and OurMoma

Falcon said...

Aren't labs wonderful? Your Ruby looks almost exactly like my Cheyenne. I wish that Chey would learn not to put her paws on people, but I love her beyond measure.

Keep up your good work.

I have a post on Cheyenne -- post surgery for lipomes.