Every time I mention I have a dog and two cats everybody wants to know how they get along. To be totally honest, the question focuses on how do the cats tolerate Marley. I'm not sure they believe me when I tell them Marley loves Mahone. Marley is always very gentle around Mahone and grooms him all the time. Mahone tolerates it, I think he pretends Marley is a weird looking/acting kitten.
For the last 17 years Mahone has had 2 jobs; entertainment and foot warmer. I think he has taken Marley under his paw and is doing some on the job training.
"First you curl up around the foot, once you are comfy you can take a nap"
Marley and I really enjoy charity walks, especially those that assist dogs. This weekend we attended the 5th Annual Woof Walk. They are currently raising funds to add a small dog section to an existing dog park (something we totally support).
The park was really lovely and had some features I wish our favorite park contained, such as fabulous workout stations. The booths had a lot of interesting things and of course cookies for Marley. (FYI: if you are peddling dog food at an event please be prepared to answer questions about the ingredients.)
Marley met her first alpaca
Long after the alpaca had moved on to other things, Marley kept waiting for it to do something interesting
It was warm and Marley needed a rest after that walk.
This is Marley's favorite dog breed... I don't get it but she always wants to play with them when she sees them.
At today's class it became evident I'm letting team Marley down. The trainer actually gave me a few "good job." This was the first class where we conducted most of our sequences off leash. Marley was sneaking extra turns and she kept her focus on the sheep instead of the agility course.
Today I learned I have to teach Marley to follow my hand. I also have to watch where my shoulders and feet are pointing. Marley looks at my body in order to determine where to go next and I'm confusing her by not pointing/angling them correctly.
Overall, Marley did great but I did horrible. I have a lot of homework.
Once upon a time when I was kid there was a horrible earthquake in Mexico City. I remember watching the dog rescue teams working frantically to rescue any survivors. At that time I decided my first dog would be a German Sheppard and we would learn tracking and search and rescue.
As you can see Marley is not a German Sheppard and I thought my tracking dreams were never to be fulfilled. Fortunately for me I found a tracking clinic and of course I made Marley attend.
Marley was confused when we arrived and we walked right by the agility course. She was happy when she discovered the field where demonstrations were held was covered in sheep poop. I have to say Marley really loves poop.
Marley discovered she liked tracking when we started working on the exercises. (In reality the minute she saw the package of hotdogs she was ready to go.)
Exercise 1: There were 3 gloves with hotdogs spaced about 3 feet apart. I started by asking Marley to find. She had no problem finding the hotdogs. Once she sat next to the glove she received more hotdogs. I had a happy dog.
Exercise 2: The trainer held Marley while I walked away shaking the glove. I then tossed it on the ground and asked Marley to find. She loved running to the hotdog filled glove.
Exercise 3: At this point the trainer laid a small trail in a straight line. There were hotdogs tossed along the trail and the glove at the end held more hotdogs. Marley was thrilled, she go to do her favorite things. Smell stuff and eat stuff off the ground. (She loves to find trail treats and I'm constantly making her drop it or removing stuff out of her mouth).
The trainer was excited and kept saying Marley had "drive," I'm not quite sure what the trainer ment. I may consider finding some tracking classes for us soon.
We got Marley a new toy, a treat ball. She absolutely loves it. It has an insert where I can record my voice, which kind of weighs the ball a bit. I have not recorded anything, because I think it would drive me nuts.
This toy will keep her occupied for about an hour. Unfortunately, she'll end up hiding it and I have to spend an hour searching for it.
I've also discovered she loves bubbles. Yep, the same bubbles we used to play with as kids. She goes absolutely crazy and starts barking at me as soon as she notices the bubble bottle. As soon as I blow the bubbles she starts jumping and trying to catch them before the dissipate. As soon as I can I'll take some pictures.
We worked on sequences. Marley is still trying to avoid going into the tunnel. We did work off leash most of this class. At which point will I feel comfortable and confident trusting my dog to behave off leash?
Weave poles, hoops, tunnel - Marley was great on everything except for the tunnel. She kept running out and running after me instead of running through the tunnel and meeting me on the other end. Once we reversed the sequence to tunnel, hoops, weave poles it was a bit easier. She did try to run off while we were moving towards the weave poles, however once she realized I wanted her to do the weave poles she ran back and finished.
Dog walk - This was not sequenced, we had some new dogs in class that wanted a refresher.
Pin Wheel jumps - the jumps were in a circular pattern and we had gates between me and Marley. I thought this was fun, Marley was not so sure about being so far way. We also reversed this and went a different way.
Hoop, Teeter - The teeter was raised to the third level. Marley didn't even notice.
Tire jump, tunnel - We haven't done the tire in a while and Marley was a bit confused. After a brief refresher she did fine. She was not pleased with the tunnel.
She is still having a great time in class and she is just so excited about doing everything. I also think she is focusing more on me rather than running off, which is cool.