Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun at the Dog Park

Marley, Joey and Abby looking for the stick

Marley playing with Abby

Hello, little dog that looks like me - Joey

Marley enticing Joey into playing

Marley's charm works and Joey plays

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not funny at all!

Bob and Marley are too smart.

Bob is not allowed outside because we live by a major road and it is simply too dangerous. Marley is allowed to hang out in the patio. Marley has taken it upon herself to open the sliding screen door for Bob and invite Bob to hang out with her.

I do not find it funny when Bob tosses things off my desk for Marley to chew. My stack of papers on the floor is fine; however, any paper that falls off my desk must be extra tasty. Marley especially likes falling pencils.

The good news is they will probably not conspire against me as long as I control the cookies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Canine Good Citizen

Marley passed the test!!!

If you know naughty Marley, you may be wondering, what did she have to do?
  • Accept a Friendly Stranger: A person who is a stranger to her approaches and Marley had to remain calm. She did great!
  • Sit Politely For Petting: The friendly stranger offered pets. Well, Marley managed not to jump, I'm so proud.
  • Appearance and Grooming: This potion demonstrates Marley will accept being groomed and examined by either a vet or a groomer.
  • Out for a Walk or walking on a loose leash: We have been working so hard at Heel and she did great. (a heel is not necessary as long as the dog walks nicely next to the handler)
  • Walk Through a Crowd: This demonstrates the Marley can walk through a crowd of people and not panic or misbehave.
  • Sit and Down on Command: This demonstrates Marley has had some training and will do as I ask.
  • Come when Called: This has actually never been a problem for Marley.
  • Reaction to Another Dog: This demonstrates Marley can behave politely around other dogs. In this portion I approached the examiner and her dog and made small talk while the dogs sat and waited politely.
  • Reactions to Distractions: This demonstrates Marley is confident and will not overreact to strange sounds. This was accomplished by dropping a dog bowl no the ground. Marley was curious but continued on her walk.
  • Supervised Separation: Marley has had a lot of trouble with this portion during practice. In this section, I hand the leash to the examiner and ask "Can you watch my dog?" and I walk away and stay out of sight for 3 minutes. Marley did great, during the last 30 seconds she started to get concerned but she did not whine, or exhibit other signals of concern.
If your dog has had some training I highly recommend taking the exam (click the graphic above for more information). Marley will receive a nice certificate from the AKC and a dog tag indicating she is a Canine Good Citizen.
Marley and the evaluator after her exam

An Otter?

Maybe a seal? Nope, just Marley at Wet n' Woofy.

Marley enjoying the water
Oh no, you're taking photos! Must run away!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marley's feline bros

Bob showing off his beautiful markings.

Mahone and Bob hanging out

Wow, we are sleepy

Go away...we were sleeping.

Dog Day Festival

Celebrate AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day Event!!!
On Sunday, Septeber 28, 2008 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3633 Garfield Ave, Carmichael. It looks like its going to be a lot of fun.

If you and your dog like doggie games and activities such as bobbing for hot dogs, costume contest and other fun activities you may enjoy this event.

Marley will try the Canine Good Citizen Test. Wish her luck!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marley's Tally

The pet budget keeps mysteriously increasing.
  • $7.68 - super soft bath mat for Marley's crate
  • $3.49 - Chew bones for Marley
  • $4.98 - Pet bed
  • $9.89 - Cat Litter
  • $5.00 - Zuke's Mini Naturals - training treats
  • $8.51 - Premier Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug
  • $20.69 - Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan
  • $1.00 - Plaster of Marley's paws (vendor at pooch pursuit)
  • $1.00 - Spot Cleaner (vendor at pooch pursuit)
I spent $62.24 on pets this weekend and I forgot to buy cat food! I did resist driving to Petco yesterday to buy a toy Marley was playing with at the dog park. Ummm...absolutely spoiled.

Can I go to the store and only buy cat food?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Adventures

This weekend Marley went to Carmichael Founders Day and she assisted at the Carmichael Dog Park Society booth.

She ran into some friends.

Gizmo, Munchkin and Marley looking for cookies.

The following day we volunteered at Pooch Pursuit and Marley mooched a lot of cookies.

There was dog cake to be enjoyed.

Did Marley find a relative?

Overall, it was a busy and fun weekend that ended with a final trip to the dog park where Marley demonstrated her ability to follow the rules and listen to me.
Waiting for permission to enter the Dog Park.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Class

Marley and I have started a new obedience class today. Yes, we have already taken beginning and intermediate classes, however there are 3 reasons we are doing this again.
  1. Marley believes rules do not apply if I'm not present, therefore I feel a refresher is in order.
  2. We never learned hand signals and I would really like to do some off leash work with her at some point.
  3. We want to try some dog sports such as agility or herding or maybe even some obedience rally. Since Marley refuses to fetch, I think flyball may be out of the question.
The class was in a park, which was nice. The birds were chirping and the squirrels were running about. We went over sit, down, name, watch me, stand and find it. Marley was excited to be outside watching squirrels and birds and getting treats. It was nice to work in a different location with different distractions. However, is it a problem when the human is bored to tears?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hangtown Hank

Hangtown Hank just became a new member of the Placerville K9 unit. In California we only have 7 police departments that employ bloodhounds as part of their K9 unit. These dogs are considered special service dogs and are only used for lost children or missing people. According to the article Hank will also have training as a cadaver dog.


I used to dream of playing fetch with my dog. That dream has been shattered, Marley will not fetch. Ok, she'll retrieve 3 times and after that she'll run off and play. I've asked for advice and I've tried it all.
  • Stop before she does and create a heightened desire in her to play. This does not work, she'll begin to stop after fetching twice.
  • Play tug of war and then toss the toy. This is supposed to heighten her prey drive and entice her to continue playing. This kind of works, after fetching 3 times she'll become distracted.
  • Continuously toss balls and this will provide her with a greater desire to continue the game.

These have not worked and I was disappointed I will not need to buy a chuck-it. Yesterday we were at the park and I again picked up a ball to tempt Marley into the worlds shortest fetch game. A new dog came and dropped his slimy ball at my feet and did a play bow. I picked up his slimy ball and threw it to him. He came back and I threw it again. Well, Ms Marley noticed I was playing with another dog and she came up and demanded I throw her the ball. I began to alternate between the New Dog and Marley, I threw different a different ball in a different direction for each dog. Well, Marley fetched more than 3 times.

I'm so excited, I now know the secret to enticing my dog to fetch.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you give a dog a muffin...

I just discovered this is a bad idea. Many of the products we consume contain "sugar alcohol" or xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. For more information read Sweet but Deadly.

Also, were you aware we have a National Animal Poison Control Center there is a small fee for the service. I'm going to have their number handy, just in case.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dog calls 911

This is such a touching story of a dog named Buddy who called 911 when his owner had a seizure. Read the rest of the story.

I do not believe Marley, Bob or Mahone would bother calling for help...unless food was involved in any way.

Rules...What Rules?

Marley had a play-date with her friend Sadie the other day. Sadie's dad was excited to have two dogs around and he had all sorts of plans for the evening. Sadie's mom and I had to be elsewhere during this time. Marley and Sadie were so excited to see each other, they sounded like cheerleaders on the first day of school (jumping up and squealing).

Sadie's dad decided to take the dogs for a ride to the coffee shop. Marley decided to run off once the door opened and run circles in the alley. Once he directed her to the truck she decided it would be fun to jump up and clean his ears and climb into his lap...while he was driving.

I have to say I was horrified when I heard this, Marley is very aware of the rules. She knows she needs to stay in the passenger seat while in the car. She knows how to walk nicely next to people (on and off leash). In addition she encouraged Sadie to disobey her normal rules.

She must have thought rules did not apply because I was not there. Silly dog!

Clean-up day

Marley had a blast at the Dog Park Clean-up Day!

She met and played with Lulu (basset hound) and a few other dogs that showed up to "help." All the dogs had a great time running around and peeing on everything. Their favorite places were piles of mulch and garbage bags.

This was a nice event, about 15 people arrived to help. The Carmichael Dog Park Society provided coffee, water, juice and donuts for all the volunteers. We mowed, weeded, raked mulch, cleaned the bulletin board and basically made the park a more pleasant place for the humans. In the process we unearthed two picnic table platforms, we were all surprised these were located under about an inch of dirt and mulch.

I believe having an active dog society within a dog park makes it a great place for both dogs and people. The City's Department of Parks and Rec only provides the space and mowing in addition to garbage removal. Everything else is provided by the Dog Park Society. I encourage everybody who enjoys these facilities to participate in clean-up days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Natural Order

I find it really funny how pets divide the house. Mahone knows he receives attention on the couch. Bob cuddles at bedtime and Marley receives attention all the time. Yesterday I ruined the natural order and Bob is mad! I called Marley and cuddled with her before bedtime. Bob sat in the doorway and glared at both of us and as punishment he insisted on sleeping under my chin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

City Dog

Marley is a city dog, this means she does not have a large back yard to run around and play. She goes on about 2 long walks a day, however this does not allow her to run. She loves to run and have the wind style her fur.

In order to accommodate her love of running and allow her to play with other dogs we visit various dog parks on a regular basis. I have to say we both get a lot out of becoming regulars at a couple of dog parks. Marley has made friends she loves to play with and she can run around in circles as much as she likes and she has discovered a new hobby, inciting other dogs to dig holes. Yes my dog instigates this bad behavior. She'll begin scratching on the dirt and another dog will take over and begin digging frantically under Marley's supervision.

On Sunday, October 13th at 9 a.m. Carmichael Canine Corral has a Dog Park Clean up day. They are asking us to bring work gloves, garbage bags in addition to contributing to the clean-up effort. This is a great dog park that has an active Dog Park Society.

I'm sure I'll be assigned the task of filling all of those holes she has inspired other dogs to dig.

Perfect Sit

What inspires Marley to do a great sit?

A Petsmart uniform!

Yes, we were at petsmart and Marley was on the lookout for employees wearing blue polo top and khaki pants. It was quite amusing, while I was looking at clickers and toys Marley spent the entire time looking for employees. If she saw one she would run to the end of her leash and sit...perfectly.

She managed to inspire them to give her 2 cookies before we left.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quirky Girl

Marley has recently developed some interesting quirks.
  • She barks at thin men. Not average sized or overweight men but thin men. Not sure why.
  • She steals ketchup packets and carefully eats the ketchup.
  • She likes to eat worms, I think she finds them chewy.
  • Cats are perfect for leaping over.
  • Will only fetch 3 times. I'm trying to change this.
  • She believes she can Bend it like Beckham. She likes to play soccer.
  • When she receives a carrot, she'll leave it in another room and come back and try to get another one.

Marley's Tally

Marley is my first dog and I've noticed my pet expenses have increased a lot since she joined my family. I used to budget about $25 per month for the cats, that included food, litter and toys. It seems easier to spend money on a dog that goes to the the store and drools over all the treats. I believe it will be interesting to keep track of all the pet expenses for the year.

This weekend I spent:
  • $6.24 - mini dingos - marley loves these
  • $3.47 - pork bone - this consisted of 3 smoked shanks
  • $6.99 - AKC stuffed beaver (like Marley really needs another stuffed toy)
  • $0.99 - Kong Ziggies - this is a sample to stuff in her Kong
  • $6.49 - Nylabone - rib rack
  • $3.99 - Clicker - to teach her more tricks
Upon reading my list I already see part of the problem. I spent $28.17 on toys and treats. I sense my dog may be a tad spoiled.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Marley's Room

Every morning Marley has breakfast in her crate and as I'm leaving for work she'll receive a stuffed Kong. Marley receives all her meals and some treats in her crate, however she doesn't usually spend much time in there. Bob actually likes to nap inside Marley's crate.

Today I "forgot" to close her crate after providing the Kong. When I came home, Marley was sleeping in her crate. I still can't believe it. All the training books indicate this would happen, however I didn't really believe it.

I've recently started allowing Marley unsupervised access to the house. Unless she chooses to redecorate in some way, I'll continue to trust her. I still lock her in the crate while getting ready to leave, I find that watching me get ready seems to stress her out. As I'm getting ready to walk out the door I'll open her crate and give her a treat. The last two weeks I've been "forgetting" to latch the door afterwords.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Marley is not a pit bull...

can somebody please tell her that. She does not believe me. There are three pits that enjoy the dog park we usually visit. They are the sweetest dogs ever, even the puppy. When they play they sound very loud and they make a lot of noise. At times they get a little rowdy, however their mom is usually right there keeping them and other dogs safe.

Today they were playing with a mastiff mix and having a great time. Every once in a while the puppy would get very rambunctious, however his mom was right keeping him out of trouble. Where was Marley? Trying to play with the pit and the mastiff! She is so little and she keeps thinking she is the same size as the pit. I have to say this nearly gave me a HEART ATTACK!

Eventually she ended up playing with her friend Cody (a puggle) and Rosie.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sibling Rivary

Mahone has discovered Marley receives treats during training. When ever I call Marley, Mahone runs faster to reach the treat. This also works when I call Mahone, Marley thinks he's going to receive a treat and she responds.

Yesterday I was working on "Leave it" and Mahone was sure he wanted the treat. As Mahone approached my hand, Marley pushed him out of the way. It was quite amusing, especially because they are the same size. Of course once Mahone realized the treat was a carrot he quickly lost interest.

Hmmm...Maybe old cats can learn new tricks


"Be glad there's one place in the world where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to go where people know, people are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name."
Cheers theme song

When Marley arrives at the dog park you can here the murmuring start..."Marley is here!" As she trots into the park, you can here the shouts "Marley!" She has to go visit every person there and it is hilarious. She run's up very excited and sits politely at their feet until they acknowledge her and make a big fuss. It is amazing to watch men scoop down and pick her up for a quick cuddle, while their large dogs are running about.
You then hear "Rosie, go play with Marley!" "Joey look Marley is here, go play!"

Marley loves going to the dog park and I have to say people there love having Marley come play. It is amusing watching large dogs attempt to play with Marley and even better watching her lead them all on a merry chase through the park.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Marley's new routine

Marley has developed this new routine, which I find kind of amusing.
We come home from the dog park and she has dinner.
She plays with a chew toy for a little bit and asks to go outside.
She will play outside for about 20 minutes and ask to come inside.
Then she goes to bed. Not to her nap spot but her end of the day sleep spot. My dog puts herself to bed by 9:30 p.m. I just find this hilarious.