Monday, March 28, 2011

Fat Dog

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big.
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot

What!? I'm just really Fluffy!

I'm ready to start building an ark, it has rained non-stop for about 2 months. Marley is so over walks in the rain. I took her to the park and she hid under the bench until I was ready to leave. Our walks have turned into sprints as she tries to rush though and get back inside where it is warm and dry.

To be perfectly honest I've indulged her because I'm not to keen on having rain blown into my coat. We have spent time inside working on foundation work and jumps. I've started shaping a new trick. While indoor training is great for stimulating her brain and making her tired, the increase in treats has caused Marley to gain two pounds.

Two pounds does not sound like a lot when talking about a large dog; however Marley is small and two pounds is a significant gain in weight. I'm totally horrified that my small athletic dog has failed the rib test. She still has a waist and her tummy is still tucked up. My vet is not concerned at this time, however she did mention I should keep Marley at about 12 pounds for optimum health.

I've started to incorporate the following changes to help Marley lose her winter weight and prevent problems in the future.
  • I've cut all treats until she loses weight. I normally give her a tiny taste as opposed to an actual treat while shaping tricks; however, these last few months I actually gave her an entire treat. I measure her food and I'll take a few bits of kibble from that amount and use that as a treat.
  • I've increased our walks. The ground is incredibly saturated and mucky right now, which has rendered our favorite areas un-walkable. I'm looking for find fun places to walk in the the city.
I'm glad I noticed her weight gain before it started to restrict her activity level and affect her health.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Front doors

Recently, I had lunch with a friend who is a pet sitter. She casually mentioned she knows how much her clients actually walk their dogs by the dog's behavior. She mentioned the obvious behaviors like level of excitement and ability to walk on a leash. She also stated, dogs who are regularly walked know where they live. She mentioned her dogs begin to walk on the lawn in an attempt to take a shortcut to her front door.

I became intrigued and I decided to see if Marley knows where we live. Unfortunately, my front door under the stairs at the end of a private entry way. Marley always walks past the entry way, either she doesn't know where we live or is attempting to extend her walk.

I just couldn't verify she knew where we lived. It was driving me totally nuts.

Until this weekend when it was rainy and windy. Marley did not want to go outside. She walked behind me and as soon as she pottied she turned around and ran back, tearing the leash from my hands in her effort to go back inside.

Now I have to know if she recognizes our patio from the outside.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I've noticed if I allow Marley to find her own entertainment, I'll deeply regret her choices. She has recently developed this delightful new habit.

Every evening after dinner she wants to go outside. Within a minute she is ready to come back inside and I've wondered why she wanted to go outside in the first place. Today, I finally caught her digging.

She is now looking for a new and fun habit.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My dog is totally weird

I spent all day trying to give Marley her flea treatment.
As soon as she spots the little box she vanishes.

If I call her, I will not receive any response. I've offered her treats and she will not budge from her hiding spot. Eventually she'll get bored and slink out to see what I'm doing, if I acknowledge her in any way she splits.

Basically, I have to take the treatment out of the package and ignore her until she relaxes. I'll spend time trying to play with her while she scouts for the mediation. If I reach for her in any way she splits.

After spending most of the day hiding under my bed she will eventually slink out and hide under other pieces of furniture. Eventually I'll be able to grab her and medicate. She will glare at me and run away to hide.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm sure it is not normal to have a dog vanish completely on flea mediation day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I found it!

I found the perfect secret park!

It is tucked away behind a school and Marley loves it. There are little trails, a bubbling creek and tons of trees. It is so relaxing and peaceful.

The first time we walked in our secret park, Marley ran circles around me for half an hour. The bliss on her face was priceless.

I'm very pleased with her behavior. We have encountered a couple of other people walking dogs in our secret park and I've recalled Marley...and she came back an sat on my left side. Amazing! She likes to scatter birds in the grass and I've called her...and she came came back. Totally Amazing!

So far we are totally crazy about our secret park and in a few days I'll post a video of her chasing birds.