Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ambrose Goes to Duke

Niamh hogs the blog all the time but I did something very interesting yesterday so it is my turn! She always makes fun of me and says rude things about my intelligence. Well I am very smart and now I have scientific proof! I was invited to participate is a research study at the Duke Canine Cognition Center. Niamh was in a study last fall and we both went to Duke when Barbara gave a talk there in January but this was my first time as an experimental subject.

The students at Duke really like dogs and everyone was very nice to me, petted me and let me sniff everything. The experiment was to see how dogs follow signals and get information. One of the students hid a treat under one of two cups. Then another student pointed to one of the cups and I had to find the treat. Sometimes the students would try to trick me by pointing to the wrong cup. Very shocking. But I soon figured out that if she was facing me, she was pointing to the cup with the treat and if she was facing away from me, she was giving me false information. The students thought I did very well, praised me a lot and of course I got to eat the treats.

Then they tried a new study with homemade biscuits. Emily showed me treats and sometimes she pretended to eat it and sometimes she put it near her ear! Then she would put the treats on the ground and see which one I went to.

You can see that I enjoyed the treat eating part of the experiment.

Emily and Katie were very nice to me. I was happy to help them advance the knowledge of how dogs solve problems and of course I would come back any time to eat some more of their treats. I did steal two treats off the table but they did not seem to mind.

While we were walking around the Duke campus we came across these statues.

I was a bit intimidated by the big camel.

But I went right up to the man to sniff him.

Niamh thinks that she is so smart, but I am too!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Canine Freestyle Federation Retreat

It has been such a long time since I have been able to blog. Barbara has been very busy making lists and phone calls. She says that she will have some exciting news soon but bits of paper with all sorts of numbers on them don't look very exciting to me. Not that Ambrose and I have been neglected or anything. We have been going to the dog park, practicing, playing and being generally good dogs and getting lots of treats.

Last weekend Barbara and I took a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Canine Freestyle Federation Retreat (Ambrose went to K9 Kindercare). We went to it two years ago and this year it was even better. After a long, long ride in the dog-crate-on-wheels we arrived at a motel. I love motels. This one had a magic elevator room.

It is so cool to go in the magic elevator room and when the door opens you are in a completely different place!

I liked this motel room because it had a window seat. I sat up there to keep a watch on the parking lot.

There were about 40 dogs staying at the motel and we all behaved very well. The other non-dog guests were surprised to see us everywhere.

The Retreat started on Friday with a Freestyle competition. I wasn't entered because we haven't finished my routine. But my friend Lucky was entered and he and his person got their CFF Level III title. Their routine was excellent.

We had classes Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The instructors kept us very busy practicing our technical skills and helping our people to develop their artistry and creativity.

One of my favorite things to do is target to Barbara's hand.

Then I get to jump really high.

I think we make a really good team. We worked very hard together. The instructors asked us to show off some of our phrases in the show and tell part on Sunday.

There were all kinds of dogs at the Retreat. This is Segan and he is a Belgian Lakenois. I had never met a dog like him before. He is very good at Freestyle and makes lovely turns. We got to do a team routine together.

Of course I always like to find new boyfriends. Nova sat next to me during one of the classes and we did a lot of flirting. I think he is quite handsome.

I worked so hard that I was very tired when the classes were over. I needed a long nap to refresh myself.

It took me a whole day to recover from all my activities! Besides the physical activity, over course it was mentally stimulating to learn new things. That is exhausting too. But now I am back to my usual, active self.

Ambrose had a good time at K9 Kindercare. I was very happy when we left him there so I could have Barbara all to myself for a few days. As you can see he is doing very well. He is almost 16 months old and he is starting to get a bit of sense lately.

We have a busy week ahead of us but we will catch up with all your blogs. I know that you have been doing lots of fun things.