Sunday, September 15, 2013


Today Rigby is a year old!  The time has flown and she has grown up so very quickly!!

It's been a very eventful year in many ways for Rigby and for Dan and I, not always what we planned, but we made the best of it.

Rigby has turned into a lovely, sweet dog with a wonderful temperament and a love of play and work. She is a joy to live with and makes us smile every day.

I'm excited to see what the next year of Rigby's life will bring for her and for me.  It's all about the journey and ours has just begun.

Yesterday morning we spent tracking at Mingo and I'm going to post two videos of Rigby tracking to show how far she has come.  The week before this she just started open turns and these two tracks each have two turns, one to the right and one to the left. Notice Rigby's enthusiasm for tracking and how she practically jumps to the start flag.  On the second track the first leg is really nice, she has settled down and really did a nice job.

This photo is from Rigby's first ever day of tracking.
A cute Rigby story from this week:
Rigby was in her crate while I was preparing for bed one night.  When I came out to get her to take her into the bedroom she trotted out of her crate and went over to Dan, who was sitting on the couch, and seemed to greet him and say goodnight.  Then she went over to Rocky, who was also on the couch, and gave him a greeting.  I said to her, "Come on, Rigby, it's time to go to bed."  She ran over to her toy box, dug her nose in and chose a toy, trotted with it back to the bedroom and jumped into bed. As I said, easy to live with!


Saturday, September 7, 2013


What a beautiful morning for tracking, cool weather and a bit of fog leaving a mist over the fields.

Today it was decided that Rigby would be given a bit of a challenge and she was to get two long tracks laid in a field that had recently been mowed, still smelled of freshly cut hay and had mounds of the cut grass laying all over it.

Because the first track was very long it took a while for our track layer, Lee, to lay it, make her way to the road and walk back to the start flag.  Rigby voiced her impatience by barking and barking.  She would settle for a few moments and then lunge toward the start flag and bark again.  She was quite happy when Lee finally returned and she could start to work.

Although this track was meant to be a challenge, Rigby showed that it was not difficult for her.  She only hesitated briefly a couple times in the first few yards and then she tracked true to the end and found the glove.  The second track, laid in the same field, was pretty much the same, only she tracked over the glove and would have kept on going had I not brought her attention to the fact that she was at the end of the track.

Happy with her results for the day I was playing with Rigby and the glove and giving her the treats that I save for the end of the track.

Then I was told not to give her all the treats, that they decided to give her another track.  We headed across the street, down the hill and crossed a wooden bridge into another field of short cut grass. It was then I was told that Rigby was going to have her first turn.  

The track was laid, a bit shorter than the others, and near the end an open turn was put in.  Rigby was still game after those first two tracks and she showed no trouble with this new track, laid by a different track layer in a field much different than she had tracked in earlier.  When we got to the turn I was surprised to find that the turn was of a sharper angle than I've usually seen first turns laid. Rigby came to the end of the straight track and overran it a bit, showed an indication of loss of scent and then worked for a minute to two minutes before figuring out where the track was and heading in the new direction.  She found the glove and we celebrated her first turn.

Once again, while playing with Rigby after her track, I was told that one last track was going to be laid, another turn, but this one a bit of a more gradual turn to give her the best chance for a great tracking experience.

Rigby had plenty left in the tank and she had no trouble heading out on her fourth track.  When she reached the turn this time it was almost as if there was no change in direction, she hardly slowed and just kept moving toward her end goal, the glove.

What a great day for Rigby!  The first time she did four tracks in one day, the greatest length of tracking she has ever done, and her first turns!

The best part is, if allowed, she would have done a couple more tracks and enjoyed it all entirely!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Surviving the Dreaded "Season" or How Even Super Heroes Couldn't Help Rigby This Time!

It started last week, I think it was Thursday.  I thought we were prepared, but apparently we were not.  How bad can it be, right?  It's temporary, no big deal.

Thank goodness I don't plan to keep Rigby intact! Going through one season with her is going to be more than enough for me.

I planned ahead, I bought her doggy diapers and the disposable pads to use in them back in July, one pair of pink, one pair of purple, we were all set, or so I thought!

But diapers don't seem to stay on Rigby very well at all. I've tried them tight, loose, further up her belly, nothing seems right.  So I went to Joann Fabric and bought Velcro to add to the Velcro that the panties came with originally, hoping that would keep them fitted to Rigby better, but even with the extra inches of Velcro they just don't seem to stay on.

Maybe it's her tail, maybe it's too short to support those diapers and keep them in place.  It's not like she has a full tail like a Lab or a Golden.  But other Weims go through this every day and they seem to manage to keep their panties on.

Then someone suggested to try little boys underpants, it works for their dog. I've purchased 4 different sizes, Superhero design and Avengers design, and they don't work either!  I tried cutting a hole for her tail, that didn't do the trick.

When she does have her diaper on Rigby is not happy!  She usually lays on the couch and stares at me with that "why are you doing this to me" look. Then she tries to take the panties off or runs through the house and her tail comes out of the little hole that keeps everything in place.  It's a constant game of Fix the Diaper or Put the Tail in the Diaper Hole.

As her season has progressed Rocky has become more and more amorous towards Rigby and this also causes difficulty in having them out together.  He tries to listen when told to leave her alone, but it's very tough for him.  If they engage in play the panties, of course, fall off and, once again, the diaper needs to be reapplied.

Poor Rigby, again less freedom for her and more crate time.  We're doing our best to keep her busy, but thank goodness we're already one week through this three-week cycle.

This morning Rigby was in her crate while Dan was out and I was back working in my office.  Somehow Rigby managed to get into the dogs' toy box that is kept behind her crate.  She dumped the box and the toys were scattered over the floor and she was somehow able to pull a fleece tug toy partially into her crate.  I'm sure working out how to do all she managed to do through the crate wires kept her occupied for a while and was like a good puzzle.

To keep Rigby happy we've been freezing a Kong with peanut butter in it and she enjoys that treat. We're taking more and more walks, because the best thing about this is that once she is outside she's allowed to do whatever she likes -- at least she isn't on limited activity like she was with her leg injury.

Our favorite activity to beat Rigby's boredom has been our trips to the fairgrounds parking field.  We pack the car with a long line, a chair, water, toys and treats.  Rigby and I take a long walk and then we intersperse play and relaxation in the shade of some trees.  She's on a 40-foot line and I try to give her as much freedom as I can.  We enjoy the time together outside, it gives her great exercise and we throw in a bit of training, too.

Tomorrow morning we'll be going tracking, another favorite endeavor for both of us.  I'm so glad that the tracking group has allowed us to continue our participation through her season, as Rigby and I both need to be out and about and having some fun.

I'm already looking forward to and planning for Rigby's spay surgery, probably in January, after the rush of the holidays are over and the Christmas tree is down and there aren't any decorations to get caught up in the cone that I know she'll be wearing. I'm hoping that once we get past the spay surgery and her healing that we won't have any down time for medical reasons for a long, long time!