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.
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