Ruby's recall is good enough for her to go to the next step, off leash in an unfenced area, which is MOST of the property here. If she's going to garden with me, she HAS to be reliable off leash. We call it 'proximity training' ... the idea is to have Ruby within a certain distance of me at all times ... even within the fence.
"I know there are horses over there ... I can hear them!"
The first step is to put Ruby on a LONG training leash (20 feet) and have her drag it wherever she goes. She will be like this for a while ... until I feel she is ready to graduate to 100% off lead.
"I'll just lay here and chill while you work, Mom."
Back to the gardening part of this post. My goal yesterday morning was to plant the rest of the David Austin roses to finish the English Garden. Ruby and I were at work fairly early, before the sun got too hot to have a black dog outside without any shade.
"Are you finished yet?"
I planted 12 roses, moved three existing roses to make way for some of the new ones, and even put away all of my tools.
"There are people over at the Winery, Mom. Can we go?"
Ruby was almost perfect while we were out. She walked at heel when we were going back and forth, and she stayed well within the length of the leash at all times. This training is going to make life much easier for me, since I won't necessarily have to leave Ruby in the house whenever I'm working in an unfenced part of the garden.
"I like hanging out with you."
I could never do this with Daniel. His recall is very reliable, unless he's spooked by something. He has anxiety issues, and I cannot take the chance of having him scared by something and taking off.
I accidently snapped this photo while I was putting my camera back into my pocket.
The rose folks among you are wondering, "Which dozen roses did you plant?" (We're always curious about which roses other rose gardeners are growing.)
I write on galvanized tags with a paint marker. I have not yet had one of these fade or flake in the garden.
Completing this garden is one more thing to cross off my back-breaking To Do list. All it needs now is some fresh mulch ... which I will order next week.
Happy Sunday, Everyone!