Sunday, 22 April 2012

How clever is Rodders!

It was my birthday this week and Rodders managed to buy, write and post a card to me and buy presents. How clever is he?

I suspect he had some help from OH, but still!

I had a lovely day although it was very wet for a lot of it. Rodders and I started with a walk around the rugby field in the rain, then home for me to have a shower.

We then had a bit of a lazy morning until my sister arrived with presses and cards galore. Rodders then got left at home while Kirsty and I went to do a bit of shopping, had a lovely lunch out and a nice afternoon at The Rex Cinema in Berko seeing the Best Ever Marigold Hotel. A really nice, gentle film with a brilliant cast in fantastic surroundings - The Rex is a reclaims art deco cinema and is just stunning inside. It is all very civilised and we chose to sit downstairs around little tables in very comfy red leather seats. There is a bar at the back selling drinks, sweets and chocolates.

Back home and I was pleased to see that Skevi, our lady that does, was here and had let Rodders out. as he had been on his own for quite a while. As soon as he saw me he started barking as he wanted to go up the field. I managed to keep him quiet for a little while but gave in and put on our wet weather gear and headed out. When it was obvious that the rain wasn't stopping and was coming down harder Rodders and I headed for home so he didn't get to play for as long as normal. He wasn't happy and kept stopping and pulling to go back. I stomped on and suddenly found myself with just a lead and collar! Rodders had just stopped and sat down patiently waiting for me to go back and out the collar back around his neck.

An hour or so later we headed to dog training (I will write more about this but it deserves a separate post) where we got very wet and muddy. Luckily OH was one and was waiting for us at the door with towels to dry Rodders off with. This gave me time to get my wet clothes off and have a quick wash before my beautiful nieces arrived for a birthday tea of takeaway pizza's and a few glasses of wine.

They are lovely but can be a little loud and overwhelming, poor Rodders didn't know what to do and bolted for OH in the conservatory where he tried to climb up his leg! OH picked him up and calmed him down until things were quieter.

I was thoroughly spoilt with presents and birthday cake. It really was a lovely day.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Recall - a different tack

While we were up with the 5 o'clock club today Rodders tried to run off a couple of times and I didn't follow him.

Instead I crouched down as I called him and he stopped, looked at me and came bounding back looking very happy with himself. Each time he got lots of fuss and a treat for being such a good boy.

We then saw Kevin, Jane and Polo on the field and wandered down to meet them. Rodders was happy saying hello and trotted back up the field with us all before diverting off for a poo. I bagged it up and then made my way to the poo bin and called for him to come with me which he did.

Once we were at the poo bin he spotted Polo again and wanted to go off to play. As they were walking away from us I crouched down and called him back. He came running back and Kevin and Jane were impressed at how well he was behaving.

And then it all went wrong! We had made our way back to the 5 o'clock club and Rodders was playing happily, especially as his girlfriend Piper had arrived. Then he spotted Polo the other side of the field and he took off. I tried calling him back but he wasn't paying any attention at all so I started to walk towards him, calling him periodically. Once I was within 25 feet of him he suddenly realised what I wanted and came bounding over. I wasn't best pleased and put him on his lead using the choke chain this time.

We walked back across the field with him at heel and he was made to sit at my feet while the others played. We will get the hang of this and I will be able to trust him!

Recall and well behaved dogs

We have a chap called Dave locally with three brilliantly trained Springer Spaniels. Watching him work with them is a joy, they are so well behaved. He can make them sit in a row and walk the full length of the field before calling one of them to him, the other two will stay where they are until they are called, just amazing!

Occasionally he will come over and going the 5 o'clock club and let his dogs run about and play with the others so Rodders knows them quite well.

One Friday recently Dave was the opposite side of the field training his dogs. He had got them all to sit and had walked away when another dog went over towards them and one broke away. Dave went back to them and made it sit. He walked away again and his dogs were just sat there when Rodders spotted them and went over to disrupt them. I was calling him back and walking towards him but he wasn't listening. Poor Dave gave up at that point and let them all have a run around together. I eventually caught up with Rodders and put him on his lead.

Twice since then Dave has been on the field with his dogs and Rodders has broken away to go and say hello. The first time Dave got his dogs to sit and stay once he saw that Rodders was ignoring me and I had to go all the way across the field to get him. The second time Dave had to get his dogs to sit and stay and I got Rodders to come back to me when I was about 25 feet away.

Each time I have thanked Dave and apologised to him. I envy his dogs behaviour.

Recall and agressive dogs

Rodders can be a little angel and come back when called or he can be a complete nightmare and go deaf on me and refuse to return, this is usually when there are more exciting things to be doing like saying hello to other dogs.

One of the joys of the 5 o'clock club is that the dogs all get on and have a great time playing and running after each other. The other dog owners are all great and seem to know every dog in the area so can warn me if there are any particularly aggressive dogs in the vicinity. If I have warning I can make sure that Rodders is engaged in something either with me or one of his play mates and know that he will not run off.

A week or so ago there was a lady walking two jack russell's along the opposite edge of the rugby field, one on a lead and one off and I was warned that they didn't socialise too well with other dogs at all, especially the one on the lead. Rodders seemed to be OK and was staying close so, foolishly, I didn't put him back on his lead.

All of a sudden he spotted them and ran off towards them to say hello, taking Higgins with him. Higgins came back when called but Rodders just kept going. I was walking towards him and calling him but he was still running towards them. Luckily he had enough sense to know that these dogs were not friendly and he backed off. The little horror still wouldn't come back to me though and went off to have a sniff around the rugby posts. When I caught up with him he got put on his lead and marched back across the field where he was made to sit rather than interact with his friends.

Last week we saw them again and they were quite a distance away walking along the fence around the main rugby pitch. Again I didn't put Rodders on his lead, you would think that I would learn.

Rodders was playing happily when one of the other dogs, Teddy, spotted them and started heading towards them with Rodders happily trotting off after him. Teddy came back when called, Rodders didn't. By this stage the two dogs were about three quarters of the way along the fence and the woman walking them could see that Rodders was not coming back despite me calling him. She picked up the more aggressive  dog and walked briskly away with her other dog following but stopping to sniff every now and again, he wasn't in any rush to go home it would seem. Rodders said hello to the other dog, looked at me and decided he would rather follow them.

I kept calling him to come and was walking towards him all the time. I am aware that running towards him isn't a good idea and I know that walking away from him works when there are no other dogs around but I was worried about him actually getting off the field, especially as this was traffic side and not the Nicky Line side.

By this time I had got almost the full width of the field and the woman was off the field and on the path still trying to get her other dog to come to her. All of a sudden Rodders hearing came back and he realised that I was calling him. He stopped, turned, looked at me and came trotting over as though he had been listening all the time.

Again he was put back on his lead and marched back across the field and made to sit at my feet while his pals played.

After a few days away

The day after we got home from a few days away Rodders was exhausted and, after a short morning walk, was happy to snooze they day away. Until about 4pm.

From then he was pacing up and down and barking, heading to the front door and back to me to bark again, on and on it went. He was obviously telling me that it was time to go and meet the 5 o'clock club to tell them about his great time away.

At 4.45 I couldn't stand it any more and we headed off up to the rugby field. Rodders was gutted when we got there and nobody else was there and seemed quite deflated. We walked twice around the field and were about to give up and head home when we spotted Judy and Brewster. Rodders was very excited as he raced towards him and after an initial greeting they were soon scurrying about as normal. Gradually all the usual suspects turned up and Rodders was delighted to sat hello to his pals again.

After an hour he headed home with me quite happily and wasn't even bothered when I put him in his crate and headed out for an evening with my own friends.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Friday by the sea

Rodders and I had breakfast with OH before he had to head off for work.

We then had a play around with the ball in the garden before Rodders finished his breakfast (what he left over from supper the night before) and then a bit of a snooze while I sat quietly reading my book.

As I packed the last of my things in to the car Rodders was a very good boy and waited on the path for me.  We dropped the key off in reception and Sue had a last snuggle with Rodders before I popped him in the car and headed for Hayling Island. We did a Schnauzer Walk on the Billy Trail back in February so we aimed for there. It was a really lovely morning and we were very happy ambling along there looking at the spring flowers and blossom.

If you look closely at this photo you can see the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, I love this building!

We saw a few other people around, mainly on bikes, a couple on horses and a few dog walkers. Rodders was happy to let us carry on our way as long as he could say hello to the dogs first. The last dog we met was a Giant Schnauzer called Blue.

Rodders was OK as I had brought his travel water bottle with me so he had stopped for a drink a couple of times but I was getting thirsty so we went in to Hayling Island and parked up to find somewhere for me to get a cuppa. We found a cafe with tables outside where you can order from a window at the front -  very useful when you have a puppy with you! We sat in the sunshine for almost a hour, me reading a book and Rodders watching the world going by from under the table. He did get a bit vocal when he spotted another dog but he really was very good.

We had a quick wander about to check out the shops, it didn't take long! I also spotted a lady with about a dozen chihuahua's (one in a pushchair and the others trotting along side her) and so turned around fairly quickly before Rodders noticed them.

Once back in the car we headed towards Littlehampton to see my friend Mike. It was lovely to catch up and I showed him how to throw together a Macaroni Cheese before we took Rodders for a run on the beach.

He really loved it, so last night with OH wasn't a one off. He was zooming about having a great time. He wasn't too sure about the waves trying to chase him up the beach though! So please my little boy loves the seaside.

We left Mike just after 7 in the hope that the usual Friday traffic on the M25 had eased off a bit and we got home just before 9. Rodders was happy to follow me backwards and forwards as I emptied the car. He was very tired after all the activity of the last few days and didn't want any supper though.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

An open crate

I quickly changed and we headed off for dinner. Again Rodders was really well behaved and he got to meet another dog as we came out as the owners son was working in reception and had his Cavalier with him.

Rodders wasn't very interested in his supper tonight and only ate half of it.

OH decided that he would just put Rodders in the crate but not shut it. Madness I thought, I was sure that Rodders would be out of it in 5 minutes but I was proved wrong again. He curled up and went straight to sleep and there wasn't a movement until 5.50am when he shook himself and then climbed out to go and find OH.

He got lots of fuss and praise for being such a good boy.

On the beach

I wanted OH to be there when Rodders got his first run on the beach so we headed back across to Branksome Chine. OH got changed in the car and then we let Rodders out of his crate. He was very excited once he realised OH was there.

We headed on to the beach and Rodders was really funny, he seemed to like the change of texture under his feet and started to zoom about. I had taken his ball launcher with us and he was quite happy chasing after it as he ran about. He did go near the water but wasn't too sure what to make of the waves coming towards him so didn't hang about for too long.

Unfortunately the weather changed very quickly and heavy rain started to come down so we headed back to the car after about 10 minutes.

The roads were awful as we headed back to the hotel and we had to divert off through the new forest due to an accident so we were a bit late back.

A day at the seaside

Rodders and I joined OH for breakfast and Rodders was nearly as well behaved as he was at dinner the night before. He did bark when OH left the table to go to the buffet to get his fruit and yoghurt but was quiet other than that.

After breakfast we grabbed our bags and drove OH to work in Poole. This was the first time OH had done a longer journey with Rodders in the car and he commented that you would not know he was there, once the car is moving Rodders just settles down and doesn't make a sound.

Once we had dropped off OH we headed out to Sandbanks and I parked the car. The forecast was for rain showers through the day so I opened the boot to let Rodders see what was going on while I put on my waterproof trousers, boots and coat before letting him out of his crate.

Today was going to be Rodders first visit to the seaside and I hoped he was going to love it as much as me. The plan was to walk along the promenade from Sandbanks towards Bournemouth and back. Almost as soon as we started moving Rodders seemed to be excited by the sea air and he was bouncing around like a spring lamb as she you can see on the video below.

We met lots of dogs on our way and Rodders wanted to say hello to all of them. Some stopped and some didn't (especially the one out jogging with his owner!). We stopped part way at Branksome Chine for a sit in the sunshine and to let Rodders have a drink and then a bit further on for me to pick up a cuppa. Once we were within reach of the pier we turned around and headed back. Rodders still seemed to be full of energy and was still skipping along, paying attention to everything going on around him.

Once we were back at Sandbanks I let him have another drink and we had a sit down before going in to the Jazz Cafe for me to have some lunch and a cuppa. Rodders wouldn't really settle in there as there were lots of dogs at other tables and he didn't want to stay with me when there were other dogs to meet so we didn't stay too long.

I popped Rodders in the car and took off my wet weather gear as the forecast now said no rain until the evening. That was the morning done, what should we do with the afternoon? Looks like we should head to the Quay for a while.

We got parked in the multi storey fairly easily and Rodders came down the stairs with ease. We ambled down towards the Sunseeker site to drool at the pretty boats before finding a bench to sit for a while. Rodders didn't settle down at all even though I was sure that he would need a rest. He wanted to say hello to all the people or to chase the pigeons.

After a while we moved over the road to one of the tables outside Corkers so I could have a cuppa. I tied Rodders to the table and he lay down and watched what was going on, he did eventually have a bit of a rest.

We then had a slow amble down to the Harbourside Park and back, stopping to look at the crab fishermen on route.

We got stopped by a lady and gentlemen from Wales who were there for a few days holiday. They were pleased to see a miniature schnauzer as they have left their two at the breeders while they are away. They thought Rodders was lovely and as we chatted I found out she used to show. I thought I should apologise for Rodders home trim but she was lovely and told me I had done a great job, I was really chuffed!

We had another cuppa at Corkers to while away another hour before heading off to Sandbanks and then back across town towards OH. Once we were close I tried to park up and read my book but Rodders hates to be in the car crate when we are stationary so I drove around the block checking out different routes until OH called and said he was done for the day.

Visiting friends and joining OH in Southampton

Luckily I have three days off work so Rodders and I got  to go out and about.

He knew something was up as I was packing bags and getting food ready so he hardly left my side. By the time I was ready to pack the car he was getting very excited and so wasn't very impressed when he got shut in the lounge for me to load the car and he barked the house down until I came ack inside to lock up and get him.

Our first stop was to see Denise, who I used to work with, and her dog Amber. This was Rodders and Ambers first meeting and it didn't go too well as she would not stop barking at him. We tried letting them out in the garden and they eventually seemed to get on a little better but Amber still carried on barking. Denise and I managed to catch up on each others news and have a cuppa though so it wasn't all bad.

We then stopped in at my old offices so we could say hi to Lisa for 10 minutes. Lots of people came past and said hi as we sat in reception talking.

We said goodbye and it was time to get back in the car and head to Southampton to join OH. We got to the hotel about an hour before he did so we said hello to Sue, the hotel manager, and she got to give Rodders a quick fuss before she had to go and get on with some work. Once Rodders and I had settled in to our room we went out for a play around in the garden with his ball launcher. He was quite good at bringing the ball back for me to throw again but he did also get distracted by the copious amount of rabbit poo - it would seem to be a bit of a delicacy by the way he was hoovering it up!

Once we knew OH was close by I put Rodders on his lead and we headed out to the front of the hotel to wait for him. As he drove over the bridge he stopped, wound the window down, and said hello to Rodders before moving off to park. I thought Rodders was going to pull me over in his desperation to get to him. I checked that there were no other vehicles about and let go of the lead once OH was out of his car. Rodders ran straight to him and I could hear him squeaking with delight as I followed him across the car park.

We helped OH in with his luggage and had a cuppa before bringing in Rodders crate and my bags. I put down Rodders supper but he wasn't really interested in it.

Once OH and I were both changed we headed over to the Wine Bar for dinner. Rodders was really good  as we ate. He was tied to my chair so he couldn't go too far but he spent his time either curled up on his fleece or peaking out at the edge of the table to see what was going on.

Once dinner was over we headed back to our room and Rodders ate his supper. We had all been up early and so it was going to be an early night so I took Rodders for a quick run around the garden before bed. OH decided to leave Rodders crate in our room this time, we have out it in the bathroom before. I wasn't sure how this would go but it worked like a dream. Rodders settled down straight away and went to sleep even though I had the lights on and read for a little while. There wasn't a peep out of him until 6.15am when OH got up with him. They both went out in the garden for a wander around before I got up.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Our second home groom

So after a lovely walk to A) Try out my new waterproof trousers and B) Wear Rodders out a bit (which seems to have worked as we bumped in to his pal Teddy the Dogue de Bordeaux) it was time to attempt our second home trim.

This is what we started with

Rodders is brilliant in the bath, he just stands there and doesn't move until you get his head wet. He really doesn't like that at all and always makes at least one attempt at getting out if he can (he can't!).

I always lift him out of the bath in a towel and manage to get the worst of the water off him before putting him down on the floor.

Caution, I am about to shake!

I did warn you!

Back downstairs Rodders got a wash and blow dry before being allowed off the grooming table for a bit of a play.

It was then time to comb him trough again before starting with the clippers. I am gutted that there were 4 knots on his tummy that I just couldn't get out so I had to resort to the scissors.

Half way through clipping him the clippers ran out of power and we had to stop while they recharged. But I managed to finish him off eventually.

He isn't perfect as I still need to do his ears and shave his tummy but he really had been through enough for one day and was beginning to tell me about it.

He does seem to have forgiven me though as he came for cuddles as soon as he was let off the grooming table and he is now curled up on the sofa with his head on my legs.

He really is such a good puppy and I am so lucky to have him!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Rodders the guard dog

Rodders loves being in his garden and will amuse himself for ages playing with the stones, sunning himself on the patio, chewing sticks or he will take a chew out there to munch on or a toy to play with.

While he is out there he does like to let me know if any of the neighbours are in their garden or if anyone comes to the garages behind us and I am getting used to what the different barks mean. If I think it is getting too much I go out and bring him back inside.

On Friday evening he was barking consistently and I didn't recognise this sort of bark at all so I went out to see what the matter was.

Rodders was on the back lawn barking madly and prancing at a young lad stood on our fence! I told Rodders he was a good boy and let him carry on barking while asking the lad what he thought he was doing. Apparently his ball was in next doors garden and they weren't in so he was trying to climb in to their garden to get it.

Rodders and I stood and watched as he made his way across the fence, hanging off the tree, and then dropping down in to the garden to get his ball and we watched him climb back out.

Rodders barked all the time and I didn't try to stop him untie they had gone. He got lots of fuss for being such a good boy and alerting me to intruders.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A trip to London

Rodders and I headed off early today to attend a Schnauzer Walk in Hyde Park. I decided that we would go by train and tube as this would be a new experience for Rodders. With the help of the National Rail Enquiries Website and the Transport for London route planner I knew exactly what our route would be..... Or did I!

We drove down to the station and parked up. Rodders seemed very excited to be out of the car and trotted down to the station quite happily. I used the automatic ticket machine which is just outside the main entrance. Rodders was pulling to get in to the station itself and walked inside without any problems. I picked him up to go through the automatic barriers but the station staff opened the gate for us so I put him down again. He was happy to walk up the stairs to the platform and we walked up the platform so we could sit at the back of the cafe tucked away in case any trains going straight through frightened Rodders. I needn't have worried, he hardly batted an eye!

I picked him up as the train came in to the station and carried him on to the train. To start with he was happy to sit on my knee but about halfway to London he moved on to the seat beside me.

Once we got to Euston I carried Rodders off the train and let him walk to the ticket barriers and then put him down the other side. He was quite happy walking through the crowds of people until we got to the staircase down to the tube when he stopped and refused to move so I had to pick him up again. Once down the first flight he was happy to walk by himself again.

Our planned route was the Victoria Line to Brixton, getting off at Victoria to swap on to the Circle Line to High Street Kensington giving us a short walk to the meeting point at Palace Walk in Hyde Park.

Except the Victoria Line is closed ALL weekend! So why doesn't the TFL website tell you that when it asks when you are travelling?

Anyway I managed to ask an underground employee and he suggested the Northern Line to Embankment and then the Circle Line to High Street Kensington. Except at Embankment we ended up on a District Line Train :-( So we got off at South Kensington and followed the signs to the Royal Albert Hall as I knew this would take us in the right direction.

It worked really well as there is a long pedestrian underpass that takes you all the way to Imperial College on Princes Gate. The only minor hiccup was that Rodders pooped in the underpass and there are no bins until you get to Hyde Park.

Once in the park we headed left towards the meeting point and I managed to grab a cuppa from a cafe on route. As we get to the meeting point we bumped in to Schnitzel and Pretzel with their family and we were soon joined by many others. The weather was amazing and before we started walking I took my coat off and tied it around my waist.

The dogs were all having a great time and were mostly off lead. Widget, the youngest there at 5 months but also the biggest, was brilliant at coming back when called. Rodders was quite good but I did have to go off and get him at one point when he thought some children football training were more interesting that me and another time when he thought he would like to play with a Yorkie. We all had water with us so we stopped a few times to make sure the dogs didn't get dehydrated. We did have an issue with the dogs invading a picnic at one point! But we soon got them all back and under control.  We were attracting quite a bit of attention having so many of the same type of dog together - at one point I got asked if they were all mine!

We walked all the way to the Serpentine Cafe where we all stopped for lunch. I was stood outside for a while with three dogs. Once we all had our picnics we went and sat on the grass and the dogs were quite happy to have a rest. Rodders let some children fuss him which is a first, he usually tries to hide behind my legs!

We then headed back using the other side of the Serpentine. There were no complaints at the dogs being on lead, I think they were all tired.

Rodders and I said our goodbyes and then headed to High Street kensington tube where again, our travel plans were foiled. We couldn't get a circle line train to Embankment, only District to Edgeware Road. Never mind, we can get the Circle Line to Euston Square from there and then walk to Euston.

It worked well and we walked straight on to the train home. I think I have one tired puppy as Rodders couldn't even be bothered to sit on my knee and was soon fast asleep!

Walking with Giants

Last Saturday Rodders and I headed to Chelmsford for a Schnauzer walk with Rufus a Giant Schnauzer (who came 2nd in his class at Crufts just two weeks before) along with a Standard and a few other mini's.

We were extremely lucky with the weather and we had a great time at Hylands Park. I had forgotten my camera so I had to make do with my phone. At least you can see the difference in size!

When we stopped for a cuppa we did bump in to another couple of Schnauzers (one puppy on it's 2nd ever outing) and the biggest Great Dane I have ever seen.

Rodders was being very affectionate to one particular Schnauzer on the walk and kept trying to give him cuddles. I am told I need to stop this as it is a sign of dominance!

Doggy Day Care

Our dog walker, Sue, also does Doggy Day Care and also home from home Doggy Boarding where your dog lives in the house with her, her family and pets.

Although Rodders is used to Sue and loves to go off with her we hadn't had the opportunity to try out a longer stay with her although Rodders is booked in when I go away for a week in July with OH.

Sadly one of my school chums died recently after a short illness (well, he had been ill for a while but was only diagnosed in the three weeks before he died) and I was keen to attend his funeral. It was going to be a long day as I needed to leave home before 8.30am and didn't know when I would be back so it seemed sensible to let him go to Sue for the day.

She picked him up just after 9am and took him for a couple of walks through the day and I went and got him from her at just before 5pm. He seemed to have had a lovely day but was very excited to see me when I got there to pick him up.

I am sure he will be fine with her for a longer stay.

Clean dog

Rodders has decided that he no longer wants to poo in his own garden so it is even more important that he gets taken out in the morning than ever.

He also seems to like clumps of grass as his toilet rather than short grass so it can be a bit of a challenge to find it sometimes when he is off lead.

But it does mean that our garden is now only used for a piddle or to play in.

Life continues

Life continues in Rodders household with little variation to our weekly routine.

Mondays - Short walk around the block, out with dog walker for 2 hours (30 minutes in van, 1 hour walk, 30 minutes in van), quick fuss and play with me at lunch time, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Tuesdays - Half hour walk, fuss and play with me at lunchtime, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Wednesday - Half hour walk, fuss and play with me at lunchtime, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, dog training school, sleep.
Thursdays - Short walk around the block, out with dog walker for 2 hours (30 minutes in van, 1 hour walk, 30 minutes in van), quick fuss and play with me at lunch time, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Fridays - Half hour walk, fuss and play with me at lunchtime, 5 o'clock club, supper, play, sleep.
Weekends - Couple of walks a day, or a trip to family, or a group walk somewhere nice, play, supper, sleep.
On top of this he gets groomed every other day and my cleaner comes in and lets him run about chasing her for a couple of hours once a week. 

He loves his garden and spends a lot of time out there just mooching around and he is turning in to a great guard dog - a lad tried climbing our fence to get his ball back the other day but Rodders wasn't having any of it! 

He also gets additional play time when OH is here. They adore each other and Rodders goes mental when he arrives home. He can now be trusted to sit and wait at the gate for OH to open it, as he doesn't run off the second it is open. In fact  in the morning when OH leaves, Rodders sits and watches him pack the car before saying goodbye to him!