Friday, July 30, 2010

More Science Experiments

We got an email from the folks at the Duke Canine Cognition Center asking me, Ambrose, to participate in another research study. I was there a few months ago helping them with an experiment on true and false information. Even though Barbara says I got called because they did a random sample of the data base, I know they picked me because I did so well on the last experiment. They didn't ask Niamh back. HA!

This experiment was on spatial recognition. Barbara had to hold an occluder (fancy scientific name for a piece of cardboard) in front of me while the experimenter put a treat in one bucket and pretended to put a treat in another bucket. Then I was released to see which bucket had the treat. Hot dogs. Yum!

I quickly learned that the hot dog was always in the bucket on my right and never in the one on the left. Easy peasy! After awhile I didn't even bother checking the bucket on the left.

Then Courtney, the researcher, had me go to the other side of the room and do the experiment from the other direction. She wanted to see if I was going to the bucket based on spatial relationships in the room or response learning. My results showed that I was going to the right even when we switched directions so it is response learning. Doesn't that sound impressive?

Courtney was very nice to me. She kept saying how well I picked up the skill of finding the treat. It wasn't hard but I appreciated the compliment and of course I will do almost anything for treats. Courtney petted me a lot and said I have a sweet face.

I like going to Duke to participate in their experiments. They love dogs there. The other students made a big fuss over me too and I got to eat a ton of treats. They can call me any time they need a smart boy to help them.

Of course I do have a sweet face.

The only thing I can complain about is that when Agatha and Archie went to Harvard to participate in their studies they got a diploma. Where's my diploma?

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Two Breakfast Morning

You know that I have been concerned that Barbara is now 385 in dog years. She is very decrepit but I have decided that it may work to our advantage! Yesterday Ambrose woke her up much earlier than usual because he needed to go outside. She grumbled a bit but of course took us both out for our business and then made our breakfast when we came back in. We had a good breakfast and then she looked at the clock and exclaimed that it was too early and she was going back to bed. When she woke up later, she took us out again and then made us a second breakfast. I was amazed at our good luck. Just before she put the food down, she said "Did I give you breakfast earlier?" I didn't say a word and neither did Ambrose. We just sat there looking very hungry, she shrugged and gave us our second breakfast of the day!!! If she is this forgetful now, just think how many breakfasts we will get when she is 400 in dog years.

Other than that, life has been very boring. It has been so hot, that I barely want to go outside. We did go out to the dog park very early to try to beat the heat. No one else was there yet so we had the whole 3 acre park to ourselves. Here is a short movie to show you what I did in the wet grass.

BTW I have seen Ambrose's attempt to take over the blog. That is goofy little brothers for you. I think he has been influenced by Mango's pee wee labradork brotherDexter. Don't worry, I will never allow Ambrose to have two posts in a row again!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Brother Wallace

Ambrose here! I am getting to do 2 posts in a row. Niamh will be sick with jealously when she sees the blog.

Anyway life here has been very dull. It is too hot to do anything fun and I am bored. But today Barbara said that I was going to see my littermate Wallace! His person brought him to our training center to do some practicing.

I have not seen Wallace since last November and he has grown to be bigger than I am. I am 70 lbs and he is 80 lbs! This spring he earned all of his confirmation points and is now a Champion! His fancy name is Ch. Albannach A Knight's Tale.

We were a bit unsure about each other at first but we walked around the center together, did a lot of sniffing and got lots of treats for being good boys.

Here we are together. I am the one on the left and Wallace is on the right. His feet are even bigger than mine!

We did get to run around a play a bit too but then I got a bit over excited and started to hump Wallace which Barbara thought was very rude and she made me stop!

We are going to get together again next week. I am looking forward to hanging out with my bro!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Like Blondes!

This is the 200th post on our blog! It is not my 200th post of course since Niamh hardly ever lets me have a post to myself but the 200th since Niamh started the blog. We are so glad that we have met all of you in the blogosphere.

It has been hot and humid here which means life is very boring. It is hard to get enough exercise in the heat. Fortunately my girlfriend Scout has two kiddie pools and several times a week I get together with her for some running and a dip in the pools.

Here I am standing up on a chair to try to get a treat from Scout's person.

Scout is a very athletic girl and is getting good at agility.

And now I have a new blonde friend named Ginger. Isn't she pretty?

Scout introduced us and since I have a "thing" for blondes I am trying to get Ginger to play with me. I think that she is somewhat overwhelmed with my enthusiastic style of play and Barbara says I need to be a bit more gentle with her. Scout and I are used to playing very wildly as you can see in this little movie clip.

But I am sure with time, I will win Ginger over and she will play bitey face with me the way Scout does.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goat Babies

It has gotten so hot here that we have been taking walks very early when it is only 75 degrees! Yesterday morning we went to Fearrington to see the goats. I love goats!

The goats have had little babies and they are so cute. They smell delicious. I would love to get in the pen with them but the fence is electrified and I will get a shock if I touch it. I don't know why they want to keep me out. I would be very gentle with the goat babies and lick them all over.

I would be happy to trade Ambrose in for my own little goat. Barbara says that she doesn't think they are housetrained, and for all Ambrose's faults, he is does know to do his business outside. Too bad because I think having a goat in the house would be very fun.

Since I can't have a goat, she got me this great little sheep stuffie. The best thing about it is that it has 16 squeakers! I will not let Ambrose near it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

In Memory

Lots of you get very creative with your blogs and are always changing the photos in your header. You may wonder why the photo in our header is always the same. Barbara does not want to change it because it is a picture of me and my big sister Selkie wagging our tails. I was just a puppy then and had hardly any fur on my tail while Selkie, who was grown up, had a very waggy tail with luxurious fur. I still don't have as much furnishings or feathers as she had. Barbara says it would make her too sad to change the photo so it will be that same one for a long time.

Selkie had to be put to sleep three years ago today. You can read some posts about Selkie and another one here.

Here is photo of Selkie and Barbara when Selkie finished her Rally Advanced title at the Gordon Setter National Specialty in 2006.

Selkie was a great Gordon Setter. She was quite the diva and loved performing so that people would clap for her. She was very playful and flirty but she had strict rules about how boy dogs had to behave around her. While I have been developing my talents at teaching boys manners Selkie was a natural at it. All she had to do was glare at a rude dog and they would back down. If she was alive now, Ambrose would not be allowed to move!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Surviving Canine Adolescence

I have been a busy boy this week. Niamh always gets to be Barbara's demo dog at class and events. I am very jealous of her and I whine when they leave me to go off and do fun things together. But Tuesday night was my time. She said that she needed my help for a lecture. Of course I was very excited.

I was a bit disconcerted to find out that the title of the lecture was "Surviving Canine Adolescence" and I was to be the adolescent in question! Barbara wanted to show people things they could do to help their adolescents grow up to be great dogs. She actually told people that I was the most destructive puppy she has ever had!! How demeaning! However I demoed my excellent mat work, which has definitely helped me have some self control.

Look at the nice elephant stuffie I got for helping Barbara. And I got to hear that Miss Practically Perfect Niamh wasn't always so perfect. Barbara said that Niamh was very flakey when she was a teenager!! Ha!

I went to Jordan Lake for a swim and to chase sticks.

It is fun to splash around.

Unfortunately because it has been so hot here all through June, the lake water was very warm and not really that refreshing. But I did get some good playing in and I needed the exercise.

It finally cooled off today so I got to run with my girlfriend Scout.

Don't I have a sweet face?

Scout and I play rough but then we are very sweet with each other too. We will be friends forever!

I've been a good boy this week so it is time to see what I can rip to pieces.