Turn in your homework!

Quick programming note: We’re wrapping up our summer homework results post (the followup to this post) and we want to include as many results as possible from the people who said they wanted to participate. So if you played along with us this summer, we’d love it if you’d write up a brief synopsis (3-4 sentences) about what you did and how it worked out for you and your dog. If you met your goal, that is awesome! If something went a little south, we’d still love to hear about it! You can either submit your writeup via Facebook message to the TU Facebook group or via email (teamunrulyblog at gmail dot com). Thanks so much!

September Book Club: Rin Tin Tin–The Life and Legend

We polled our Facebook friends and based on their positive feedback, we’re very pleased to announce that we’re going to begin our Dog Book Club this month! (NB: Dog Book Club probably needs a better name.) We’re going to kick things off with a new book that’s receiving fabulous reviews and is one of the best books that I, personally, have read in years: Susan Orlean’s new book about Rin Tin Tin. This book has a little bit of everything: it’s a story of one specific dog, discovered on a battlefield in France and brought to the US, it’s about dogs in general, it’s about the early days of Hollywood, it’s about the close relationship that can develop between dogs and people who feel a little marginalized by society, and it’s about the way the culture of dog ownership grew and changed over the course of the 20th century. It’s a totally fascinating read, even if you don’t care about GSDs or Rin-Tin-Tin. It’s not out in paperback yet, but it’s available as an ebook and as an audiobook (with Susan Orlean narrating!) I myself picked up a copy from the library, so don’t feel like you have to go spend money to participate in the discussion!

Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin (I)

Here’s how this is going to work: anyone who wants to participate can read the book this month, and during the last weekend of the month (Sept. 28-30), we’ll open up a discussion here on the blog (we’d like to keep the discussion time-limited so people can follow it and actively participate without having to return back to the post a billion times). I’ll post a few initial questions we can focus on to get the discussion going, but we can take it in whatever direction you’d like! This is a trial run, so we’ll see how it goes and tweak as we need to. Until then, enjoy the book, and we’ll see you right here on the 28th!

And to whet your appetite, here’s two short videos: the first is a trailer for the book (books apparently now have trailers!) and the second is a short clip of Rin Tin Tin in a silent film (The Hills of Kentucky, 1927) that I came across last night. The original Rinty, the dog who was found on the battlefield, was primarily a silent film star, and a lot of those films have been lost, so I’d never actually seen him in anything other than photos.

Welcome to Team Unruly!

What will this be?

“Team Unruly” is a ragtag band of heroes group of friends who met through dog-lover communities on LiveJournal. The name was originally coined because a few of the members enjoyed mucking about in the local photography community, but the group grew to include many others. Our common bond is that we all love our dogs and love to train with them; if you can teach a dog to do it, someone in our group probably has. We do weight-pull, agility, rally and formal obedience, flyball, search-and-rescue, therapy and assistance work, herding, nosework, dock-jumping, treibball – the list goes on!

The purpose of this site is to share with you our trials and tribulations. Some of us train for the sheer joy of working with our dogs. Some of us travel long distances to compete against other teams. Some of us just really like learning about training methods, dog sports and dog history and are happy to sit on the couch with our four-legged (or three-legged, in some cases) best friends. What brings us all together is the desire for others to see that there’s a huge world of possibilities out there for dogs and the people who love them. Training your dog doesn’t end at “come, sit, stay.” That’s barely the beginning!

Please bear with us as we learn the WordPress ropes, get everything set up and start posting. Between the lot of us, there should be plenty of cute dogs, wonderful photos, exciting activities and different perspectives to keep you coming back for more!