Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What do you mean we have homework?

Mom and I are taking a class at the Richmond SPCA called Heel by Choice.  Mom wants to improve my heeling skills and my focus because she thinks it will help in my tricks demos, and because heeling skills are necessary in doggie dancing, which we really want to try.

I'm loving the class so far because I get LOTS of treats, I like the teacher, and the RSPCA facility is so nice.  I thought it would be boring but it's really not.  Last week we practiced off leash heeling with super tempting distractions like a ball bounced right in front of me and cookies shoved in my face.  At first these things distracted me, but I quickly learned I would only be rewarded if I kept heeling next to mommy.  The teacher said I was doing really well!

The one thing I don't like about class is that we have homework.  Well, on second thought, the homework is not so bad.  We get to practice, which means more TREATS!

One of our homework assignments this week was to make a list of things I enjoy in life/things I really want.  This is my list:

Chasing tennis balls
Catching tennis balls in my mouth after one bounce
Helping mom or dad take out the trash
Chasing chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and anything else that comes into my yard

Chasing the sprinkler
Hot dogs
Peanut butter
Frosty Paws

Eating poop (any kind but especially rabbit poop)
Eating grass
Sticks (Eating and chasing)
Hiking w/ my buds
Hiking w/ my humans
Cuddling - especially with (on top of) my mom
Playing frisbee
New people
Belly rubs
Ear scratches
Licking daddy's legs when he gets home from work
Lying in the bed while the humans get ready for work
Squeaky balls and toys
Disemboweling stuffies
Chewing my elk antler, nylabone, etc.
Boxes (playing with, chewing, destroying, etc.)
Kleenex (boxes and tissues)
Yummy smells
Playing tug
Doing tricks
Being with mom and dad

As you can see, I have quite a wide range of interests.

The next step in the assignment is to rank these, beginning with my most favorite.  I'm still working on the ranking, but you may be surprised to learn what is at the top of the list -- taking out the trash.  It's the only time I get so excited that I jump up and down and make little excited noises.  I'll have to post a video sometime.  I've tried to explain, but mom and dad can't quite understand the attraction of taking out the trash.

Do you have something you love to do that your humans just don't understand?

Hedgehog is definitely on this list.
But I still haven't figured out if Hedgehog is a boy or a girl.


  1. Keep working on determining the sex of hedgie. If you truly can't figure it out...I will send Teka over and she will destuff it so you can perform and autopsy.

    Your class sounds like fun. Homework is the best. It is the only time we get hot dogs.


  2. Mom won't let me take out the trash with her. Apparently she's depriving me of an amazing experience. I'll have to work on this!

  3. WOW you have a long list of things you like. Now rabbit poop I call my Itsy Bitys Raisin Treats. Doggie dancing Lee says sounds like fun, but I say I have four left feet to her two Bwahehehe. Good luck Garth Riley.
    Sweet William The Scot

  4. I LOVE this! Suvi had the same hedgehog as a baby. It was her favorite, but she still disembowled it. I love that you share your stories, Garth. Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? You'd probably really like Enzo a lot. He thinks like you.

  5. Oh Garth - that sounds like a great class! I'm so excited to hear more about it! And I'm SUPER Excited to hear that you're gonna try dancing!! (By the way, I know some dancing doggies how can't "Heel" formally but they have learned to Hand Target and that can produce a similar result for keeping the doggie walking with the human during the routine! But I personally think that learning to Heel is a great skill, useful in lots of situations!)

    And Wow - that is a LONG list!!!!!! I think my biggest thing that my humans don't understand is rolling in stinky stuff! :-)

    Honey the Great Dane