Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things (So Far)

No matter how rotten Margot is behaving (and trust me, last night she was PURE rotten), I can’t help but love the fact that she has recently decided that she prefers to play in my lap more than anywhere else.  She can be running all over the place, chasing a toy, terrorizing Sam, etc., but inevitably she will always come charging straight back to where I sit cross-legged on the floor and leap/flop right into my lap.  Sometimes she just sort of “tags” me, as if I’m her home base, and then she takes off running again, but most of the time she actually prefers to just stay in my lap to gnaw on her chew toys.   I really need to have Justin take a photo of her doing this in the near future because there will soon come a day when she’s too big to play in my lap like that.  :'-(

Another thing I love is the time that Margot and I spend in the bathroom together each morning while I get ready for work.  I started bringing her into the bathroom with me when she was around 7 weeks-old because I don’t want to leave her in her crate all morning, especially after she just slept in it all night and we have to put her back in her crate before we leave for work.  So, every morning I grab a couple of chew toys and a couple of biscuits, and I carry them and Margot to the upstairs bathroom with me so I can start getting ready for work.  She doesn’t like it when I disappear behind the shower curtain, and every now and then she actually takes a little peak to make sure I’m still there, but usually she just lies on the bathmat and kills time by gnawing on something.  Unfortunately, while I’m in the shower I can’t keep a close eye on her, and sometimes she finds something to chew on that she shouldn’t.   For example, the other day I accidentally forgot to put up the cord to my straightening iron, and I found her chewing on it when I got out of the shower.  Thankfully, my straightening iron is still functional because she didn’t do too much damage to the cord, but I haven’t made the mistake of leaving cords within her reach since then.  This morning, I came out of the shower to find her chewing on the pajama bottoms I had taken off just moments earlier.  Again, lesson learned:  stop being a lazy slob and put discarded clothes in the hamper! 

I’ve also started practicing commands with Margot while I’ve got her isolated in the bathroom away from Sam and Jocie, because it’s actually very difficult trying to train her with her big sisters around.  Sam is a treat hound and goes NUTS as soon as she hears me tell Margot to “sit.”  She knows that means that the puppy is about to receive a treat, and she’ll be damned if she’s going to miss out on that!  So, Sam always interrupts our training sessions by barking and trying to get in between me and Margot, and Jocie usually comes running whenever she hears all the commotion and starts demanding a treat, as well.  It’s total chaos and can be quite unproductive, so I usually try to spend some time training Margot alone out on the back deck  after Sam and Jocie have gone inside and now also while I’ve got Margot in the bathroom by herself in the morning. 

Here’s a little video I shot this morning.  You can see how Margot is so good at sitting that she will actually do it before I even have a chance to give her the command.  I also ask her to “lie down” in this video, although I only just started teaching her this command a few days ago and she doesn’t quite get it yet.  I wasn’t able to film this because I had a treat in one hand and my iPhone in the other, but I also use a hand gesture whenever I give her the command to “lie down” by lowering my hand, palm down, and touching the floor.  This morning, each time I lowered my hand to the floor and said, “Lie down, Margot,” she would actually raise her paw and kind of wave at me.  It made me wonder if, by using that hand gesture, she may actually think that I want her to make the same gesture with her paw.  Haha!  I’m really only half kidding.  I’m sure she’s probably waving because she just wants me to hurry up and give her a treat since she’s already sitting like a good girl, but then again, Margot is a Puppy Genius….

For the most part, though, Margot is pretty good while she’s in the bathroom with me.  Sometimes she gets a little whiny because she wants me to sit in the floor so she can play in my lap, but unfortunately I just don’t have time.  I’ve been trying to make up some hours at work since I had to take two sick days a couple weeks ago (stomach virus), which is why I haven’t had a lot of extra time in the morning lately, but after this week I may try to adjust my schedule so that I can actually sit and play with her for about 30 minutes before I leave for work.  In the meantime, Margot usually just ends up passing out on the bathmat a few minutes before I’ve finished getting ready, and then I carry her sleepy little body back downstairs and put her in her crate. 

Finally, I love how interested Margot seems to be in music, particularly orchestral music.  I discovered this the very first morning that I brought her into the bathroom with me.  I always turn on music before I shower, and when I did, Margot stopped dead in her tracks, turned to look at my iPhone dock, and then actually walked toward the sound.  I realized that she had never really heard music before, as we usually left the TV turned on to a random television station at night because we thought that hearing people talking in the other room would keep her from feeling lonely.   

Later that evening, as Justin and I were watching a movie and playing with Margot on the couch, she suddenly stopped and looked at the television during a scene that involved a rising orchestral crescendo.   At first, we thought that it was just the rising volume and intensity of the scene itself that caught her attention, but she reacted the same way a little later on during a scene that had a violin playing softly in the background.  We laughed at how interested she seemed to be in the music, and I told Justin that she had reacted very similarly that morning when I turned on my iPod.  So, ever since then, we have left the TV tuned to the classical music station each night when we go to bed.

I realize that this probably sounds ridiculous, especially since I already jokingly refer to Margot as a “puppy genius,” but I swear that she really does seem to prefer orchestral-type music to any other kind.  This morning was a perfect example.  I was listening to the “Cool New Music: Summer 2012” playlist on the Songza app, which consisted mostly of indie-type songs from artists like Fiona Apple, Passion Pit, Walk the Moon, etc.  Margot was just playing and doing her usual thing the whole time the music was playing, but then a really pretty instrumental song came on that featured a lot of violins and wood instruments (I wish I could remember the name of the song and/or artist), and, once again, Margot stopped what she was doing and turned to look at where the music was coming from.  I guess there’s just something about those types of sounds that grab her attention more than other instruments, such as drums and guitars.  No matter what that reason may be, we think it’s pretty darn cute.

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