Thursday, April 29, 2010
So the metaphor..."Opening up of new doors" can be applied to Marley and me. Like I've said before, I've never really been much of a pet person before I met Marley. I fell in love with that puppy and didn't think twice about keeping her. That was door number one. Then once I got comfortable with her, I became more comfortable with other pets...like cats. Now, I don't have one and don't plan on getting one, but I can now go to my friends' houses and not act so awkward around their pet cats. I will actually pet them and socialize with them instead of keeping my distance as if they had some sort of a disease. Marley has done this for me....She has opened my mind. I would say that I am a little more laid back than I once was. Now, I said a little...I won't push it too much! The term "door" also means something else to me. I mentioned in my last post that she always greets me at the door...I can't explain how good that is for the soul. Sometimes, yes, I just want her to leave me alone, but sometimes after a bad day, it's nice to have at least one thing in your life that actually wants you and I can honestly say Marley is that constant thing. She is always at my door...
So, I've been away from my apartment for the last few days. I've taken a new babysitting job and had to stay overnight with the kids a few nights. This means that when I'm away, Marley misses me...lol...no, but really, she does! My great roommate took care of her while I was gone. I stopped in a few times to let her out or to grab something. I could definitely tell that she did not understand why I was gone. After I was gone the first night, I came back the next morning to get ready for class and she was so excited to see me. As soon as I let her out of her kennel, she jumped up on me to get my attention almost if she was saying..."Mom, Mom!!! Where have you been? Pay attention to me!!" And I did. She has always been a clingy dog, but when I was home for the first time all week last night, she curled up close and stayed next to me while I was relaxing in front of the tv. It's nice though...to have a constant thing in your life that actually cares and jumps up to see you when you come home. She always does that doesn't matter if I've been gone 15 minutes or 8 hours, she always meets me at the door! Now, that's nice! :)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ok, so Marley's little chewing problem has not exactly gotten any better. She really enjoys chewing on my personal items...not so fun for me!! I bought her a chew toy a while ago and that seemed to help for a while, but lately she has gotten much worse. Since this is becoming such a problem, I decided to explore why she may be doing this. There are many possible reasons. She may not have learned as a puppy not to chew. Since she was almost one when I got her, that could be it. She's bored, wants attention, is fearful or could be suffering from separation anxiety. She usually does this when I'm not in the room, so she possibly may be upset that I'm not there. I need to learn to manage the situation and make the items unavailable to her. It's also important to get her toys that she can chew on and make them appealing to her. I could also soak them in things to make them appetizing to her. Honestly, that sounds like too much to me. I'm going to keep the things that I don't want her to touch, out of reach and give her toys to chew on. She should get the idea eventually, right?!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Marley and I went to Harrison for Spring Break. The last day of break, it was so nice. I just wanted to get outside, so my little brother and I took a drive about 30 minutes away and took Marley hiking at Lost Valley. The weather was beautiful! Lots of people had the same idea that we did. The park was very busy that day, but still enjoyable. We packed our lunch and ate when we got there. Then we went on the trail. Marley did great! She kept up with us and did what I told her to do. We saw people along the way and she behaved well. We made it to the waterfall and turned around. When we were almost to the entrance of the trail, a few people were walking toward us with their two dogs. I let Marley sniff the dogs like usual and thought she would be fine. All of a sudden, one of the dogs just snapped at her!! Marley didn't say anything. She was so scared! I was, too. I didn't know what to do! Finally, the owner's of the dogs calmed the dogs down and I picked Marley up and walked away. She was fine, but a little shook up. All in all, it was a good day for a walk! We had a great time!
So, I finally took Marley to the groomer's!! Her hair was getting so long, it was about time! I knew that they were going to have to cut her hair very short, but I didn't know what to expect it to look like really. When the worker brought Marley out, I felt so bad!! Her hair was so short! She looked like a rat! I knew that her hair would grow out in time, but it looked really strange at first. When looking at her face, you could tell Marley was herself, but she really didn't look like the same dog. Now, I will keep better care of her hair and brush her more often. Hopefully, she will not have to have her hair cut so short in the future!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I dropped Marley off at the pet grooming salon a little before noon today. She really needed a haircut. It's definitely about time that I took her in, but I left with an interesting feeling...I felt like I was a mom dropping off my baby at daycare!! "Will she be ok?" "How will her haircut turn out?" "Is she going to be sad when I leave?" She was shaking and unsure when I left her there. It made me sad!! I know, I know...dogs are not people, but sometimes it feels like she's my kid! Silly I know! I am going to pick her up in about an hour...hopefully the haircut will turn out well!! I will post another blog soon telling how it looks and even upload pics if I can. I took a before pic from my phone and will take an after shot, too. Hopefully, my baby is ok! :)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
So, Marley has started this thing...Every time she gets excited she gets a little too excited and pees! I've gotten to the point where I have to end up watching her closely when I get home or she'll start peeing. Yesterday, I had been gone for a while and when I got home she was so excited...like usual...to see me. She was jumping up on me and acting crazy. I picked her up to calm her down and that's when I felt it...something run down my leg! She had gotten so worked up when she saw me that she had actually peed on me!! I couldn't believe it! To say the least...I was very grossed out! It wasn't that she need to go out, it was just that she had gotten worked up! I guess if I have someone in my life that gets that excited when I walk in the door to actually pee all over their self, I'm pretty blessed! lol :) Hopefully she will learn to control herself soon, because this is not my favorite trait of hers!!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
It's days like these that I hate to be cooped up in my apartment! It's beautiful outside! The sun is shining and it's 56 degrees outside! Marley loves going on walks. The only problem is she doesn't quite understand that I'm the leader and she must follow me. I guess that all goes back to training her. I have a problem disciplining her. I would rather spoil her than discipline her. I need to learn how to train her to walk properly. It's very important for me to teach Mar to walk by my side, not in front of me almost pulling me down the path. One way to do so is to keep treats in my pocket and to reward her for obeying. Walking is very good for Marley. This allows her and I to develop our relationship...I know that sounds funny, but it's true! It also allows her to get her exercise, which she needs. So, next time I take her on a walk, I'll be sure to post about how it goes!
Monday, March 1, 2010
So, I got Marley a new chew toy recently. This picture shows her old rope, which was destroyed by Marley, so it had to be thrown away. I decided that I was tired of her chewing on everything that she shouldn't so, I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to solve the problem...a new chew toy seemed like the right answer!! I bought her a rubber bone...at least I think it's rubber. It is supposed to clean her teeth while she chews on it...kill two birds with one stone, why not?! As soon as I unwrapped it and gave it to her, she seemed interested. She, of course, had to smell it to make sure she liked it and then she couldn't stop chewing on it. She loves it!! If I am able to get it out of her mouth, I like to throw it across the room and watch her jump up to get it. She is constantly looking and sniffing for it if it somehow gets out of her sight. So far, it seems to be working...she hasn't chewed up anything else lately. I guess, I will find out how she did today when I get home soon!!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Ever since Marley met my family, she instantly became a part of it. My little brother fell in love with her. He just can't seem to get enough of Marley. He loves to take her on walks and play catch with her. I never really knew what it meant for a dog to truly become a part of the family until now. It is all really funny, actually. My parents will call me often and most of the time they call to ask about Marley!! "How is Marley?" they ask. I love that they do that. She means as much to them as she does to me! It's great!
So, Marley seems to have a fetish with licking...and let's just say, I'm not a fan!! I don't know many people that just loved to be licked, anyway, but it's really not my cup of tea. She licks you after she hasn't seen you in a while, she licks you after you take a shower, she licks dirty clothes, she licks the floor...she just likes to lick! I really want to make her stop! But before I do, dog trainers reccomend realizing why she does this. The first and most obvious reason why dogs lick is because that is their way of showing affection. She loves me!:) Many puppies learn this from their mother. Mother dog's lick their young. I know that she means well, but I'd like to learn how to fix it. I need to be more dominating with her and simply tell her to stop in a forceful way. If anyone has anymore thoughts on this. Let me know.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This weekend I will be going away for a debate tournament. Now that I have a dog, I have to find some one to take care of her. I am blessed to have great friends who help me out when I need it. Marley does well with the people that she knows well and that she is used to. This weekend, my boyfriend gets to be in charge! Marley is used to Ryan now, so she should do well. Usually when I'm gone for a while, she is not very happy with me when I get back. In the past, she has gotten very angry with me and even left surprises for me when I got back. I have had her for a while now, so she should act much better. I am interested to hear how she does. I'll check in with Ryan and be sure to let you know how she does. Hopefully, I'll have a few fun stories to tell nextt week.
Earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday, Marley and I got two days off. Since it snowed, I was out of school and did not have to go to work, either. She really enjoyed me being home since usually she has to be in her kennel when I'm gone. Mondays are usually my busy days, but this particular Monday I got to stay around the apartment instead. Marley enjoyed staying home and simply being lazy with me. Snow days usually mean that lots of cooking will take place around the apartment. My roommate and I cooked quite a bit that day. Marely wanted to be right there while we were cooking. I think she thought she might be allowed to eat some of it! We had two great days off and are now looking forward to our next snow days!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
So, I came home to my apartment the other day and my roommate, Shea, had a funny story about Marley to tell me. Shea had stopped by the apartment and let Marley out for a little while that afternoon. When she had to leave, she searched for Marley in her normal hiding spots...under my bed, behind the couch and under Shea's bed, but Marley wasn't anywhere to be found. Shea had to be somewhere very soon and had already spent ten minutes looking for her. At this point, she didn't know what to do. So, she decided to go to the door and try to make it sound as if she was leaving. She did that, then she just stood by the door quietly. Not too long after that, Marley came out from where she was hiding and immediately spotted Shea and gave her a growl. Shea had tricked Marley and she wasn't happy about that. Shea put Marley up and was able to leave. Marley sometimes thinks she is in control and would do anything not to go in her kennel!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Saturday was the day of Marley's weekly bath. She was started to smell like a dog, so I knew it was time. I do not particulary look forward to giving her a bath, because it is not her favorite thing in the world. As soon as I started her bath water, she hid behind the couch. Somehow she knew what was about to happen. I pulled her from behind the couch and put her in the bath tub. I have to watch her carefully to make sure she doesn't jump out, which she is very inclined to do. She made it through the bath, but then came time to dry her hair, which is another very interesting process. She absolutely hates the hair-dryer. She tries to run from it, but I keep the door tightly shut, so she can't leave. It is very cute to see her try, though. I dried her hair as much as she could stand, then immediately took her outside for a potty break. When we came back in, she kept her distance from me. I don't think she was very happy with me. Oh, well...it happens every time, but she must get clean!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Lately, every time I look at Marley, I can't help but smile. Her hair has grown so much that she now has bangs that hang in front of her eyes. She could be called "Shaggy!" She is in dire need of grooming, but part of me doesn't want to cut her hair. I know she needs it and she will get it, but I think she just looks too cute! I'm looking for a good groomer in town. The last thing I want to do is take her in and come out with a bad hair-cut. I wouldn't want that done to me, so, I wouldn't do that to her. I took this picture tonight, so you could see just how long her hair has gotten (You can compare this picture to the one that I put on my very first post). I tried putting a bow in her hair, but she just wouldn't have that. She is not big on bows, even though I wish she was! I think she looks so adorable with one in her hair. As soon as it gets put in her hair, she always puts her head down and uses her paws to get it out. Even when she sees a bow in my hand, she squirms around trying to stop me from putting it in. Now, I'm not trying to be a crazy pet owner that dolls up their pets all the time, but a bow every once in a while wouldn't hurt! Maybe bows will grown on her! She will get a hair cut soon. I'll post pics when it happens.
Monday, January 25, 2010
So, don't get me wrong...Marley is not a bad dog, but she could use some improvements. There are a few things that she improve on...chewing, jumping up, barking, and leash pulling are just a few. I found a dog training book that I've decided to try out. As I read through it, I will blog about Marley's progress. Chapter 1 is about why dogs act the way they do. They do not misbehave with the intention of "being bad." They obviously do not know any better. It is necessary to train your dog to make better choices. First, you must teach them to pay attention. One way to do that is to monitor your tone of voice. You should use firm tone when you are correcting them and a pleasant upbeat tone when you are complimenting their behavior. Also, rewarding good behavior always helps. The reward must be consistent, whether it be a treat, a pat on the head, or complimenting words. This week I will put these things into practice. I already treat Marley when she behaves well, but I will work on being consistent. Hey, ya never know...she could be the best trained dog when I'm done! We'll have to see!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Ever since the first day that I met Marley, she has been attached to me. Wherever I go, she goes. My friends used to joke that I should enter an obstacle course at a dog show. She would definitely win if she was following me! It's true, though. Whenever I leave my apartment, she immediately runs to the window to see where I am going. She is also very protective of me. Of course her bark is bigger than her bite, but she means well. If we are on a walk and see a stranger, she immediately starts to bark. I have to admit, I'm not sure how much she can actually protect me, but it's nice that she cares enough to try. Kinda cheesy, I know....but it's true. Dogs are so much more than just pets. They are comforting, loving, and very loyal. Last night it stormed here. I could hear the storm inside as if I was out in it. The clanging thunder and crashing lightning startled me when I first heard it. Marley was in her normal spot under my bed while the rain poured down outside. The storm caused the lights to flicker and as soon as they came back on, Marley jumped upon my bed where I was. I will admit, I'm not a fan of storms and that little sign of affection, meant a lot. We both just sat there and watched television. Her comfort helped keep my mind off the storm. It is nice to have that comfort to count on.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Growing up, we did not have inside pets. I had two dogs when I was very young, but they always stayed outside. I always thought that if I ever had a dog that it would definitely stay outside, but something happened about 4 months ago that changed my mindset completely. I met Marley. My life hasn't been the same since I met this 9 pound shih-tzu terrior puppy. A family that I know was getting a new pet. Marley's previous owners could not handle her anymore, so a friend of mine was taking her home. She brought her to Wesley, where I work and since that first day, Marley seemed to be attached to me. It was very odd because I am simply not a pet person, but there was something about this dog that threw that idea out the window. When my friend and her family decided that they couldn't handle Marley since they had three other pets, I decided to try the whole pet owner thing out. I gave it a week. My roommate and I agreed to keep her for a week and then would decide if we thought we could handle her. We haven't given her back yet and that was the beginning of October. I've learned so much these past few months and know that I have much more to learn. I will share those experiences from the past and as they happen with you. I call myself a first time pet owner. When I was younger, my parents took care of the pets that I had. Now, it is all on me. I do know that it is true when they say that pets can be "good for the soul." Marley has been good for mine.