Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year end review

It has been about 10 months since I became a first time dog owner and I have to say this has been the best experience of my life. Marley and I have met some wonderful people and we have learned a lot. The biggest surprise was Mahone, my 16 year old cat, who loves Marley.

We have some exciting things planned for the new year. We start agility classes in January and I'm planning some fun hikes for this spring. I'm looking for dog friendly vacations for this summer that do not involve camping. Next winter, I may brave my aversion to frozen water and take Marley to play in the snow.

We would like to wish you a happy and safe new year.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Marley had a great Christmas with lots of pets and treats. She received toys and treats from Santa. I gave her a new bed...which she hates.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Training Me

Once upon a time I thought it would be a great idea to train my dog to ring bells in order to let me know she needed to go outside. Thank god I didn't. Marley and I decided she would sit by the door and I would let her out.

Marley decided this was a great training technique for ME. She now sits in front of the door whenever she wants a treat or dinner or a walk. She starts at about 6 p.m. and the human training begins. I'll see her and ask, "Do you need to go outside?" She will perk up. As soon as I get up she runs to her crate (for dinner) or to the kitchen table (for treats*). So far I have not cooperated, however she thinks I'm trainable.

I'm so happy I didn't "train" her to use a bell.

* Her treats are stored on the kitchen table.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Lieu of a Tree

Santa only brings catnip?

Dogs don't get prezzies?

Say it isn't so? I've been so good!

This is the reason I do not set up a tree.

I received this lamp as a joke last year and I have to admit I like it much better than a tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rainy Sunday

It was unbelievably cold this morning as I drove to the dog park. I reminded Marley we were going to stay until I ran out of coffee. As soon as we walked into the park it started to rain, all the dogs started running around as if trying to avoid the rain drops. As soon as it started to pour Marley hid under a chair and would only come out if she thought I has heading for the gate. Ok, I have to admit it was a bit fun to take a few steps in that direction and then stop as soon as I saw her dash from under the chair. Once home everybody cuddled on the couch.

Flying dog

Marley is showing off her flying skills.
Spooky (chi mix in the photo)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The dogfathers have tagged Marley with both the meme and the AWARD!!!! Yay!

Five Smells Marley Likes:
  • Cat Butt
  • Cat poo
  • Cookies
  • Hot dogs
  • Fresh cut grass
Five Smells That Marley Doesn't Like:
  • Organic shampoo
  • Green Beans
Marley's 8 favorite foods:
  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Hot Dogs
  • Zuke's treats
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Liver snacks
  • Mini Dingos
8 Things Marley did today:
  • Smelled cat butt
  • Snuck onto the big bed for a nap
  • Chased Bob
  • Went on walk with favorite dog walker
  • Cleaned Mahon's ears
  • Killed Bob's feather toy (revenge for the crate eviction)
  • Rolled in smelly spot at park
  • Pretended she was a greyhound and ran around in circles.
8 Favorite Stores:
  • Petsmart because they tell her she's pretty and give her cookies
  • Petco because it always smells yummy
8 Restaurants:
  • Starbucks because they always tell her she is pretty and give her her own cup with water
8 Things Marley looks Forward To:
  • Chasing Bob
  • Visiting Sadie
  • Visiting the Terrible Terrier Duo
  • Going to the dog park
  • Playing with Lulu or Joey
  • Breakfast/Dinner and Treats
  • Visits from her dog walker
  • Rides in the car
8 Things Marley Likes To Do With Family:
  • Riding in the car
  • Hiking
  • Visiting friends
  • Cuddling on the couch
  • Sharing an apple
  • Running
  • Going to the park when its foggy
  • Swimming
8 Things on Marley's Wish List:
  • Cookies
  • A cat without sharp claws
  • More time playing with her friends
  • Why are the cats allowed on all the furniture? Marley wants to be on furniture too.
  • More carrots and apples. Hmm, does she think she's a horse?
  • More smelly spots to roll in
  • Visit to the beach
  • Big backyard

8 Buddies I’m Tagging with both the meme and the AWARD!!!! Umm, actually all of Marley's e-friends have already received this award.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dog Torture

I found a new delightful way to torture Marley! First I'll have her on a down/stay and I'll throw a treat a couple of feet away. Marley has to maintain her down/stay until she is released.

Marley does not like this new game at all! She is afraid the Bob or Mahone will eat her treat.

Today I added to the game, we start on a down/stay and add a sit/stay before allowing her her treat.

I'm having a great time, Marley finds this torturous!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hanging with the Papillon Gang

At times like this I really wish I know Marley's ancestry. She looks like a coarser version of a papillon especially when her ears are up. She doesn't usually play with the papillon gang, however she joins them whenever there is ruckus and attempts to increase the noise volume.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Marley lost her crate

I have a surreal situation at my house, Marley and Bob both like to hang out in the crate. How weird is that! This last week Bob has decided he likes the crate and has spent a significant amount of time snoozing in the crate...every day. This means Marley is not allowed inside, which kind of defeats the whole point of having a crate. Does this mean I have to buy another crate? People with normal pets don't seem to have these kind of situations.
Bob snoozing in the crate

I want to sleep inside my crate...

I'm a slacker

There have been a lot of events in the area to have winter photos taken of my dog and I've missed all of them. If you are a slacker like me there are at least 2 events left to get winter photos and donate money to charity at the same time.

On December 7th there is Santa Paws Pet Photos with Santa. The event will be held at Arden Animal Hospital, 1823 Fulton Avenue. A photographer will take pictures of pets with Santa Claus for a suggested minimum donation of $20 for a CD or picture, and $25 for both. This fundraiser provides funding for veterinary care for pets belonging to the homeless.

On December 13th there is the Winter Woof Fest sponsored by Gone to the Dogs, a non-profit group in support of CRPD dog parks. Photos will be $5 each and for an additional fee you can have that photo on a t-shirt. This event runs from 1-4 p.m. and it is recommended you sign up here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Marley's favorite things

There are three reasons Marley loves going to the park:
  1. Playing with her friends
  2. Running as fast as she can
  3. Rolling in smelly grass
The worst part of rolling in smelly spots is her need to mark that spot after she's rolled in it...and later roll in it again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Hehe...can't find me.
Oh, wait are we leaving?

Are we going on a walk?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Marley a bully?

When we go somewhere in public, I feel its my responsibility to do three things.
  1. Ensure Marley's safety
  2. Make sure Marley does not cause any harm to others
  3. Finally, I have to pick up poo
Due to her small size I'm always careful about how rambunctious other dogs are when they play with Marley. Some dogs do not realize they are huge and Marley does not know she is only 11 lbs.

I always supervise my dog when she is playing; however, I admit when she is playing with dogs her own size I tend to be a bit more lax. I've learned my lesson.

Is this the face of a bully?

Marley was playing with Angelica and before I knew it, they were no longer playing. Their play changed so quickly, I was stunned. I immediately removed Marley from the park and we went and did some training drills. We attempted to re-enter the park without success and we left.
Angelica worried about the mean girl

Since that horrible day, the girls are friends long as they are not the only females in the park. Crazy dogs

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Training people?

I spent the entire summer saying, "Marley no jump" "Marley off" and insisting she not jump on people for attention. I did teach her she could jump if invited but she must wait politely to be invited. I spent time apologizing and explaining Marley was working on learning her manners.

People at the park would not listen, they allowed her to jump or actively encouraged it and made me feel like a jerk. Now its raining and Marley is running through the mud while playing and then jumping on these people. While they encouraged the behavior, I still feel bad that my dog is behaving in a manner I consider inappropriate.

I keep wondering was there a better manner I should have addressed the issue?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Training Updates

Out training class has become more challenging since we were moved to a more advanced class. I was chastised for allowing a sloppy heel and sit. My trainer indicated I should demand more from my dog and my dog would rise to the occasion. After much thought I agree, I shouldn't allow Marley to provide mediocre obedience. I also have a small confession, our sloppy performance is all my fault. My main focus was to have a dog that walked nicely on a leash and not necessarily heel. Marley walks nicely, however she does not necessarily always pay attention to what I'm doing and sits wherever she feels like it.

In order to correct my error, I used the clicker. I was really surprised at how quickly Marley figured out what I wanted. My first focus was on sitting next to my left leg when we stopped. I held my treats in my left hand (part of our problem was my slow delivery with my right hand, which caused Marley to shift in anticipation of the treat). The first time I stopped she sat about 1 foot away on my left. I physically moved her (in order to avoid confusion for her) and when she was in the correct spot I clicked and treated. After a couple of times of this I stopped moving her and patted my leg in order to remind her what I wanted. When she shifted on her own and sat in the correct position, I clicked and treated.

Yesterday, I was getting ready to leave my house and I stopped suddenly to check if I had forgotten anything. Marley was walking ahead of me towards the door and she looked at me when I stopped. After a moment she walked towards me and sat correctly on my left side. I am so proud of her and I'm so amazed at how quickly this clicker is working.

Monday, November 3, 2008


In February Marley met Wesley and from that day forward they were in love. Wesley (dachshund) would stop playing with other dogs and run to the gate whenever Marley arrived at the dog park. Marley's tail would wag and she would run full speed ahead to reach Wesley and begin playing. When Marley was afraid of the big blue pool, it was Wesley who encouraged her to jump in and continue playing. It was a great love affair as I've mentioned here. Alas, Marley has met a younger more playful pup, Lando (Jack Russel). Whenever Lando is at the park, Marley will reject Wesley's play bows and gentle tugs on her ears.
Marley with Lando and Wesley inspecting her paw prints in the dirt.


I explained to Marley if she wanted to sit in the front, there were responsibilities. As co-pilot she needs to ensure I'm awake and paying attention to the road. She was also in charge of providing accurate directions. Ms Marley is not impressed.
Wake me up when we get there.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Party

A couple of days ago Marley attended the toy dog Halloween party. She had a great time running around and playing with her friends, until it was time to wear her costume. She was a wizard and she felt it was undignified, especially because she didn't win any of the prizes.
I will not look at you

I will simply not acknowledge your presence until you remove this outfit

Just you wait...

Are we done yet?

Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Marley and Sadie

Marley likes playing at Sadie's house because Sadie has two feline bros (Shae and Loki) who love to run. Especially when Marley wants to sniff cat butt.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lady and the Tramp

This is Marley and her BF Wesley (dachshund) sharing a chicken Popsicle

Marley and Shae

This is Shae butt

I can't believe you said "Leave it"...IT IS CAT BUTT

Ok, I'll ignore both of you

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm so happy Marley loves her crate. After her adoption she was scared I would leave her and she refused to eat unless I stood next to her food dish. During this time we were also working on crate training and I decided to start feeding her in her crate. Eating in her crate allowed her to relax. However, she never went into her crate unless she was looking for treats or snacks. Last month, I noticed her napping in her crate. Today she spent the afternoon with her friend Sadie and after dinner she took a snooze in her crate.

Posted by Picasa

You can't tell in the photo, the door is open and she can leave at any time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

After a bath

This is what Marley likes to do after a bath
This is Marley and her friend Reina (Chihuahua). As soon as they see each other they start wrestling. It is quite hilarious to watch especially because they end up covered in dirt and their shiny coats end up dull and grey.

Taking a break

Monday, October 20, 2008


Marley telling Joey a Joke

What do you call a hot dog with no meat?

A hollow wienie.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Marley and I got in trouble today in training class. We were looking for squirrels and Marley decided to have a great roll in the grass while I smiled indulgently. The trainer asked if we were bored and I said, "yes." Last week Marley fell asleep in class. In the last four weeks we have learned leave it and hand signals for sit, stand and down. The rest of the material we already knew. I have found this class to be very disappointing and not what I expected at all. The good news is our trainer has moved us to a more advanced class. I really hope this will be more exciting.

Can we chase the squirrels now?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Marley's friend

This is a picture of Marley and her friend Charley. They are always glad to see each other, except instead of playing they spend most of their time smelling stuff. They do not try to wrestle or roughhouse, every once in a while Marley will entice him into a game of chase. Mostly they smell stuff together.