Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wanted: A haircut!

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

Dog Training...Um, we'll see...

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

Much more than a pet...

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

Life Changing Moment

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.