Saturday, August 29, 2009

Marshall - Man about Town

Marshall had an extended "public" day today. He was stretched and passed several "tests."

We started off the day in downtown Greenville to attend an event behind the Peace Center. We parked up the road on Main Street and passed through the Farmer's Market and past several dogs, to which he gave hardly a glance--his first test of the day.

We mingled among the crowd like a star. We saw our friend Otto, but he didn't see us. He was busy learning his job, too.

After downtown, we went to the Women's show. A very heavy crowd. Marshall held his sits or chose to plotz while I visited with varous vendors at their booths and traversed the crowd with ease. DFA did not have a booth at the show, but lots of people learned about DFA today.

And perhaps he was tired from charming the crowd, but as we left, Marshall walked right over the remnants of a trail of cheerios without breaking his stride.

Monday, August 24, 2009


We took the dogs swimming yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, after a decent hike, I realized my camera didn't have the memory card in it so there are no pictures to share. However, Nikki is like a fish in the water. She LOVES to swim. Our Lucy- not so much. In fact, I was wondering exactly what it was that she was doing. She looked as if she was killing the water or something. Anyway, the girls ran off leash for about 4 hours chasing, jumping, swimming, digging. Lucy likes to wander a bit more than Nikki so we introduced Nikki to the "Find Lucy" command. Lucy is her charge so it came quite naturally. She really helped us keep tabs on Lucy. Calhoun had to be confined to his VERY long leash though. He really likes to... explore. He was still able to play in the water though. What a great day we had! Everyone including Ashley and me were exhausted. We plan to do it again soon so I will post pictures then!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This week Bear is visiting us, and is teaching Tucker lots of manners that can only be imparted by an older male! Rule #1: All sticks belong to Bear, although he shares if it is big enough for two.

Having one of these shepherds around this week reminds me why these are such perfect dogs for the DFA program. Bear is not just smart, he is intuitive in ways I can only imagine. It's something you can't teach -- it's just there.

I had one very interesting experience with him. I was on the couch trying to nap, Bear was sleeping near me, and Tucker was on place. As I was drifting off, Tucker started chewing on a bone -- and you all know how loud and grating that can be! I think I told him "leave it" a couple times -- I was kind of in and out of sleep -- but anyways, the sound was irritating me. Then I heard Bear get up and watched as he walked over to Tucker, took the bone from him, went back to his spot, dropped the bone on the floor, threw himself back onto his spot, and went back to sleep! So either the bone crunching was bothering Bear (unlikely), or he knew it was bothering me and was just taking care of the problem! Either way, these shepherds are amazing dogs!!!

Tucker is really going to miss Bear when he leaves, and so am I!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Learning to Share My Space

Is Marshall:

1) learning to share?

2) wearing his "roomate" down?

3) taking his guardianship job very seriously?

As a much younger puppy Marshall was intent on "taming" the black furry thing with no legs that moved just to tease him. It could have been a scene from "Untamed and Uncut." Now, I wonder who/what has tamed who?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Baby Steps

As I posted previously, several weeks ago, Marshall started getting "grouchy" with other dogs. He has received some specialized training to address this issue. I have been striving to continue that training with short evening sessions. First in my back yard, then slowly in the neighborhood and into the world.

Marshall has made progress with the neighborhood dogs, so tonight we ventured out into the world. We went to a little music event in downtown Simpsonville. I hoped that we would see some dogs, but not too many. As luck would have it, the event provided lots of bouncing children and only one dog. Although we passed behind the dog on the way in, Marshall didn't see him thannks to all the distractions of the crowd, bmx bikes and skateboard demonstrations.

Marshall worked the crowd as only a proud DFA puppy can do. He plotzed well for about 30 minutes of music, showed no interest in my ice cream, and layed down while I visited with acquaintences.

On the way out, with the crowd thinning, Marshall spotted him....perked up his ears, started to look, moved toward the dog with a perky posture....and....responded to my "let's go" without a hitch. There was one big smile on my face! But you can never stop reinforcing and working through an issue, espcecially one as critical as doggie manners.

Training continues....

This weekend he'll have a chance to mind his manners with more exposure to his cousins ans siblings, as we lend a hand at the PupStart Center.

It will be a tough environment, but a great opportunity to work and proof our most challenging issues.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What time is it?

Marshall made me laugh today.

He really does seem to be adaptable. During the past several months he's been out of my home for several reasons. He always seems to be back "on schedule" within just a few days.

During my post surgery days, I've been accustomed to taking a nap around 1 or 2p every day. Marshall has been back in my home just since Monday.

Today, I took Marshall with me on a clothing hunt--Target, Walmart and Haywood mall. We were out about 2 hours.

When we returned home, we spent some transition time in the back yard. Suddenly Marshall gets up and heads for the house. I open the door and he immediately goes to his daytime crate and lays down. I guess he was telling me it was time for our nap. The time was 2:30p!