Ruby Tuesday – Camping Dog Eats BBQ

29 Apr

Offer a Labrador a stale Cheerio and he will be your new best friend. Not so a Rat Terrier — she is cool to new people — not rude, but cool. Ruby is all about reserve and loyalty. She will eat your stale Cheerio — have no fear — but she won’t consider the next step to lifelong devotion.

Managing a dog on a camping trip is a tricky thing. No matter how well behaved the dog, the rangers will strongly prefer that you keep your dog contained in some way. The neighbors will also prefer that your dog is contained in some way rather than rampaging around like a wild thing. There are various tools to help with the requisite containment but they all have their downsides. Leashes get tangled. Pens can be jumped out of. And, dogs confined to motorhomes can whine and whimper and cause all who hear them to think their owners are horribly mean. Besides, when you add a passel of kids into the picture, all those systems get even trickier. What to do? What to do?

Ruby in the motorhome

At home, Ruby’s natural stay-at-home-with-her-people tendencies have quickly and easily been honed such that she doesn’t bolt out the door unless given permission (most of the time — she’s not quite 2 years old, remember?). She hangs out on the porch when we’re out in the front doing things. She doesn’t bolt outside while the kids and I are loading the car in the morning for school. She’s a very good girl if we watch her and remind her what she should be doing.

I know there is no substitute for good training. Not that I’m a particularly good trainer but shaping her natural tendencies towards what I wanted from her makes it all much easier. I wanted to be able to leave the motorhome door open, tell her to wait, and know that she would do just that — wait inside and not come out without permission. We started while I was working in the kitchen of the motorhome so I could reinforce the command regularly. At first, she was out the door in seconds but gradually she got the idea and by Sunday afternoon, she was lying down inside the motorhome relaxed and calm. Everyone in camp helped by sending her back inside or saying “wait” as they walked by or in and out of the motorhome.

Ruby being so good

And, all good girls deserve rewards. A t-bone seems like an adequate reward, don’t you think? Ruby certainly thought it was worthy.

Ruby loves her some bones!

P.S.  This is my 1,201 post.  Wow.  Who knew I had so much to say?


5 Responses to “Ruby Tuesday – Camping Dog Eats BBQ”

  1. mon@rch 29 April, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    Lucky camping puppy! The dogies always get the BBQ Bones! LOL

  2. Susan Gets Native 29 April, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    I love how you think. Shaping Ruby’s NATURAL tendencies, instead of fighting with her constantly. I wish more people were like you, Liza.
    It seems like you have had Ruby forEVER. It hasn’t even been two years??

  3. jayne 30 April, 2008 at 2:32 am #

    What a sweet and smart girl she is!

  4. KGMom 30 April, 2008 at 6:16 am #

    Liza Lee–Ruby is a true gem. I just LOVE that photo of her looking out the door. Her look is absolutely supreme–see, I am a good dog, right?
    And yes does she ever deserve a bone.

  5. Mary 30 April, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    You have had a lot to say! Wow! I’ve only posted 328 times:o/

    Ruby is such a wonderful traveler. You should be very proud of her.

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