Sunday, October 25, 2009

Marshall sounds the alert

Last night I was awoken by a strange three-toned beeping sound. It wasn't the alarm clock...it wasn't the C02 detector...it wasn't the smoke alarm. At first I thought I was dreaming. As the sound was only periodic. After a few times when the noise would make its presence known, Marshall would do three non-obnoxious barks in response. I lay their listening trying to figure it out. It went again, Marshall barked again. I got up in the dark trying to figure out where it was coming from. I guess I had turned on my cell phone several days ago. The noise was the cell phone giving off a battery spent warning. I got up, put it on a charger and everyone went back to sleep without hesitation. (Except the golden retriever who never woke up in the first place.)

It was interesting to note how Marshall alerted to something very strange going on. But his barks weren't his "pay attention to me" barks, but a calm sound noting that something different was happening that needed attention.

Daddy's Boy


Bear isn't the only one with a big stick. Problem is...I didn't know my yard contained a big stick! Marshall....who's your daddy?!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Marshall and Mower Mania

Marshall has some serious issues with the lawn mower. I wish I could get in his little mind to understand what he thinks it is. I haven't mowed much this year so haven't had a strong chance to get Marshall desensitized, but as a young pup, he could have cared less. So something in his perception changed some where along the way.

The only solution I have found to excessive barking and trying to attack the mower is to put him on a leash and let him walk beside me. It is interesting that he walks calmly at my side back and forth while I mow. But if I have to stop for some reason, when I restart the mower he starts barking and getting all crazy. As soon as I tell him heel and start forward he stops.

Is it the restraint or does he have some other perspective? It is a herding thing? that by walking behind it he feels like he is controlling its direction? I don't have an answer but it is an interesting study in behavior.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quiet evenings

With the cooler weather upon us, Marshall has had the opportunity for some very long walks. But the daylight is working against us.

This past week and weekend, we've enjoyed walks of one hour or more. It sure does make a difference in his wiggles from being confined during the work day.

He continues to work on his obedience tasks for the show ring coming up this weekend. And, on his halloween "trick".

I have extended him a little more trust in the mornings, allowing him to enjoy being out of the crate while I get ready for work and before going outside one more time. Most of the time he spends this "freedom" beside me.

But he is still young...I bought some new shoes and he discovered the box and shred the tissue paper...So the training continues!

But it brings me joy to see a dog spent at the end of the day. The fresh air makes him happy too.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Take us Home"

Marshall took his "brother" Bo and I hiking today at the Brick House trail. We hiked about 45 minutes each way. I could have gone further, but we reached a creek and I wasn't willing to get my only pair of tennis shoes wet.

In my poor memory, I do believe this was Marshall's first hiking in the wilderness trip. He was a trooper. I had both dogs on short leashes - much to my shoulder's dismay - but Marshall wasn't the one pulling.

I observed something interesting about Marshall today.
As we reached the creek and I told the boys "This is as far as we go. It's time to head home." I turned to walk back and Marshall's nose hit the ground. I'm not sure when he stopped his tracking. But it did seem to be quite a way. I wonder why if he didn't enjoy the smells of nature on the venture out, did his nose hit the ground when we turned to head back?
I have no doubt he was re-tracing our steps. Quite something to see.