Following the creative path

Other Dog Activities

Other Fun Activities

Dog agility isn't the only game in town. There are lots of activities to try and you may want to pursue some further than others. In general, it's best to find some other people who are already competing or have experience in these areas to help you get started. These folks can be so helpful! If you have a dog of unknown heritage, i.e. a mixed breed, mongrel, or mutt, or you're just curious, you should check out the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America. Their regional clubs like the Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club are a gateway to many of the activities listed below.

Let's take a look at some of the other activities Emma and I have tried.


Most dogs show at least a little instinct for herding. Some may chase, others stalk and circle widely. Either way, you should try it. Emma is no expert at herding, but she does enjoy herself. Herding is a bit more obscure than agility and obedience, but there's probably a place not too far from where you live where your dog can give it a try. We just herd for fun and really don't have a lot of time to do it. When we do, we join Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club members at Ewetopia. It's so much fun. The folks at Ewetopia are very open and willing to work with any breed or mixed breed dog. Emma and I go there maybe once per year, but they always treat us like Emma could be the next, best herding dog (if I just gave it some more time). I don't know too much about herding, but be sure you take your dog to a farm where you feel comfortable with the environment and their training techniques.

Lure Coursing

Lure Coursing is yet another extreme sport for dogs. Competitions allow only sight hounds, but many practice sessions allow any dogs to give it a try. Emma loves lure coursing. It's the only activity we've tried where she was practically jumping out of her skin she was so excited. Sadly, to avoid injury (now that she's older), we do not do lure coursing. Dogs that become very intense about chasing the lure must be checked carefully before and after lure coursing. Make sure to warm them up and down. It's just too easy for the dogs to injure themselves running at such high speeds.


Looking for something a bit slower yet still a challenge? Try competitive obedience. If you find the right trainer (i.e. focuses on using lots of positive reinforcement), your dog can really enjoy the intracacies of obedience. Some dogs and their owners excel at obedience and enjoy the delicate details of becoming a truly competitive obedience team. Emma and I are going to give it a try this summer! We're very excited and I'll be sure to report here how it went. Hopefully, I'll know of some good obedience web sites by then too. I'll let you know!

And Even More...

The list of activities to try with your dog is practically endless. Here are some other activities to try:
  • Flyball
  • Hiking
  • Off Leash Parks
  • Trick Classes

There are many web sites out there and here some of the more useful ones, especially if you live in the Northwest or Washington.

Other Activities

Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club

The Dogpatch


Seattle Animal Shelter

The Humane Society for Seattle/King County


Possible Modules

Listening to Lullabot #5

Also vidcast #4 was helpful in getting a grip on menus. Now I have site navigation and a separate menu (currently called Besides ruf) which links to other content I want to keep on my site that is not directly related to my business.

I learned some from the #5 podcast and the others have been very helpful. Check it out Lullabot

For now I'm avoiding any theming to get the structure setup. Make it pretty later.

The bummer for me right now is that I'm not doing any PHP coding. That may make some of you happy to avoid PHP, but that's where I have my fun. Still I need to understand how users use the system so I can be a better developer for it.

Still Drupal seems plenty fast and makes sense in most cases.

Fiddlin' Around

At the very end of 2005, I started to learn how to play the violin. Lasley & Russ set me up with a nice rental and recommended Paul Elliot for a teacher. Paul is a great teacher and understands some of my most important needs:

  • avoid classical music
  • build listening skills
  • have fun

Seven months later and I've got four songs under my belt and a pretty good sound quality.

Although I don't practice for long periods of time, I do try to get on it every day even just to doodle around.

All songs I've learned by listening to Paul and watching his fingers, then repeating. This has been a great skill to work on. My most recent piece, Tennesse Waltz, I learned faster than any of the previous songs.

It's great!

New Design, New Content, Happy Customer

The NCAPEC web site's new design and content went live in July. RUF Designs implemented the XHTML, CSS, and Javascript for the design created by Yvonne San Luis Designs. Collaboration on this project went smoothly and the customer is very pleased with the final results.

Collaboration with Yvonne San Luis Designs

RUF Designs has started a project with Yvonne San Luis Design to redesign a web site for one of Yvonne's clients. Do you need some help implementing designs for web sites? Contact Robin Barre at RUF Designs to discuss what it takes to give your clients their web needs.
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