Sunday, November 29, 2009

We took Maggie to the dog park in Radnor today. I have seen this park for quite some time and decided that Maggie was ready for the socialization and the running that comes with the territory. When we got there Maggie was a little unsure at first but quickly realized that she was free to run and sniff the dogs that were there.
There were a lot of dogs. Most of them were larger breed dogs and full grown. At first Maggie went after the larger dogs but quickly realized she was not the leader so she made her way to a different area that was occupied with smaller dogs. She made friends with one particular dog, a small white one named Dexter that appeared to be a mixed breed. They ended up running around together quite a bit.
I grew tired and sat down on the grass at one point and many different dogs approached me, dropped their tennis or football and waited for me to throw it for them to chase. Well, how can you resist these adorable and playful animals so before I knew it I had a game with two different dogs going on.
We had a nice hour and when we were ready to go I could tell Maggie was disappointed. We then took her to the pet store and bought her treats. I now realize we will have to visit this park on a regular basis

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So I took the plunge and bought a harness to use when we walk Maggie. She is getting bigger and stronger and tends to pull on the leash. Even though we are in the midst of training Maggie to walk besides us instead of pulling us I decided to give this a try. So this afternoon I took Maggie for a walk. She didn't love the harness but she didn't hate it either. But I did notice she was unable to pull the leash like she has done in the past. It is a little confusing how to place it comfortably onto Maggie, but I hope in time it will become a no brainer.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How can one dog get so dirty? I know stupid question! Maggie was just at the groomers. She came out with a nice haircut and CLEAN fur. Today she spent a good part of the day outside and of course most of that time digging in the dirt (not to mention eating everything in sight). So once again we are faced with the dilemma. Do we give her a bath? She is getting bigger and it is harder to get her to stay in one place as we bathe her. I know dogs don't care if they are clean or not, but it would be so easy to have her shower or bathe by herself once a day like the rest of us humans. Wishful thinking!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I was talking with a friend yesterday. We were discussing how much a puppy's life is like a child's. I realized that with Maggie we are out of the baby stage and more into the toddler stage. At five months she has grown tremendously and learned a lot. Her training is going well and she looks to us for direction. A good natured puppy she still gets a little hyper at times (just like a toddler) and has to be reminded to behave properly. But all in all it is hard to believe she has only been with us for three months. It feels like she has always been a part of our lives, and I can't imagine life without her.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm really not liking the restrictions put on me for the hidden fence training. And of course since I KNOW Maggie is brilliant I decided to take matters in my own hands. I was sitting in the front yard with Maggie. She had her special collar on and was not on a leash. I was told to give it a couple of weeks before letting her loose, but I nixed that as well. She was doing really good when all of a sudden two dogs passed by our house and she ran right through the hidden fence. The sensation she felt was a slight buzz from the collar, but it didn't seem to phase her at all! I guess she isn't really ready to be on her own.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

OK, so everything is really good and the new Maggie continues to be a pleasure. BUT we had our first lesson with the instructor from the hidden fence company and I think I am more confused then Maggie. He showed me how to train Maggie by taking her up to the flags (which represent the hidden fence) and once Maggie and I hear the noise (and she feels a little tingle on her neck with the special collar) I have to pull back on the leash while saying "back,back, back." This teaches her to recognize the sound as well as the sensation through the collar. I have to take her along the perimeter twice a day for a week. OK, not so bad. What is totally confusing is that in order to take her down the driveway for a walk, we need to remove the special collar, put her walking leash on and either carry her down the driveway or drive her in the car down the driveway. I am told that eventually this will teach her that only when she has the walking leash on she is allowed to bypass the hidden fence barrier. I hope she gets this soon because I am so confused!

Monday, November 2, 2009

MAGGIE'S HOME!!! I was not sure how she would react upon seeing us but she was thrilled!!! She looked bigger, but still jumped into our laps and gave us lots of kisses! The ride home was pleasant, no crying like in the past. Would this be an indication of the new Maggie? The instructor at the puppy school handed us a list of instructions for us to follow. We were told not to worry for the first twenty-four hours in case we screwed up. I admit is was a little worry some, but when we arrived at the house we saw glimpses of the new Maggie. She waited for us to give her commands, she sat when we told her, and if she attempted to chew on our hands the minute we said "no" she actually listened!
What a pleasure. I instantly felt puppy school was worthwhile. We go back next week for a follow up lesson and I am curious to see Maggie's reaction when we return.