Friday, April 12, 2013

Better Than Television

I know I haven’t posted many updates lately, but I have two reasons for that:

1.       Between the craziness at my full-time job and how busy I’ve been with my photography business lately, I simply haven’t had time.
2.       Unfortunately (and, perhaps, fortunately), there hasn’t been a whole lot for me to report.

I’m rather frustrated with the dog trainer at Petco, who was supposed call me weeks ago to tell me when Margot’s obedience classes start.  Claire called me twice at the beginning of the month to gather information about Margot (size, breed, age, etc.) so that she could place her in the appropriate class.  Then, I never heard from her again.  I called a couple days ago to check, and I was told by one of the Petco employees that “Claire has been sick.”  Okay, that explains why I haven’t heard from her.  That’s totally fine and I understand.  However, I left my name and number and asked them to have Claire call me to let me know when the obedience classes will begin, and I still have yet to hear back from her.  Grrrrr!!!

I’m very anxious to begin Margot’s obedience training because, now that the weather has finally gotten nicer, we’ve been going to the dog park a lot and trying to go for walks.  However, Margot is still pulling like crazy whenever I walk her, and I’ve been noticing a little bit more aggressive behavior from her at the dog park, as well.   On a few occasions, Justin and I have seen Margot growl and show her teeth to another dog who was showing interest in her stick or ball.  It’s been rare, but I don’t like it.  I’ve heard that a dog’s personality can sometimes change right around the time they turn 1 year-old, which will be in June for Margot.  She’s just always been such a pleasant, friendly, little social butterfly at the dog park, and I would HATE for that to turn sour in any way, shape, or form.   

I’ve also been noticing some herding behavior from Luke at the dog park, which I also do not particularly like.  Whenever another dog takes off running, Luke tends to give chase while nipping at the other dog’s hindquarters and giving a low growl.  For anyone who doesn’t know Luke’s sweet personality or recognize this as herding behavior, it looks as though he’s just being aggressive towards the other dog and trying to bite it.  As soon as he gets the other dog to stop, though, all Luke usually does is sniff the other dog’s butt, then go on about his business.  Still, I just hate the thought of anyone thinking that Luke is trying to chase down and possibly attack their dog.   I plan to research herding behavior and how to correct it, and hopefully I can break him of it.  (Anyone have any experience with this?  Feel free to share some advice!)

Sam is still doing well, although my heart breaks for her a little bit every time I look at her.  I try not to think like that, I really do, but I simply can’t ignore those big lumps on her side.  She’s still getting around well, though, and the lumps don’t seem to be affecting her or causing her any pain.  She still eats, drinks, and goes to the bathroom normally, and she routinely climbs the stairs to go jump in our bed every morning. 

One thing Sam hasn’t been too happy about lately, though, is all the puppy-sitting we’ve been doing for Zach and Kristy’s dog, Frank (the puppy I found abandoned in the building where I work).  Every time they bring Frank over, Sam starts barking at him.  It’s exactly the same way she behaved towards Margot for about the first month after we brought Margot home.  I guess Sam is just annoyed by the presence of little puppies.  Perhaps it’s because they’re so rambunctious and she’s “too old for that sh*t.”  In Luke’s case, he was kind of an older pup when we brought him home from the pound, and he was much more interested in playing with Margot than playing with Sam, which would explain why Sam didn’t seem as annoyed by him.  She barked at him a little bit for the first couple of days, mostly whenever he and Margot would play rough, but she’s been totally fine with Luke ever since. 

As for little Frank, he’s getting so big!  He has definitely started to resemble a Pit Bull more lately, too.  His body is kind of stout and muscular, and the bone structure of his face looks more like a Pit Bull than any other breed, I think.  He’s also been developing more of a Pit Bull-like personality.  He discovered his bark last week and doesn’t hesitate to use it.  He’s also gotten braver at playing with Margot and Luke.  He used to cower a little bit whenever they’d start wrestling near him, but now he tries to jump right in there with them!  He also likes to growl and bark at them to prove what a big, tough dog he is.  Haha!  It’s pretty cute, I’m not gonna lie.  I also love how gentle Margot is with Frank.  She always lies down so that they’re more eye-level, and she lets Frank bite all over her face and ears.   If he starts to get too rough, she’ll either stand up to remind him that she’s the bigger dog, or she’ll use her paw or chin to pin him down for a few seconds.  Luke has also dished out a little discipline to Frank on one or two occasions.  If he thinks Frank needs to settle down, Luke will give him a gentle “bite” on his hind end or his neck.  I find it all very fascinating, and I swear I could watch Frank, Margot, and Luke play for hours.  Who needs Bravo TV when I’ve got the drama of “The Real Canines of Cabell County” happening right in my own living room? 

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