Tag Archives: training

11/14/13 The Homecoming

I’m back.  Oh my gosh, I’m back, and I thought I had been re-homed forever.

It’ll take me a couple of blogs to get everything out.  But first, let me tell you about The Homecoming.

I had my day, which was so much like the others lately.  The man (his name is Daryl) took me to the Obedience College and we worked, just like we had been working at the strange house with all the other dogs.  I was tired.  I was itchy.  I was lonely and thought my family had abandoned me and that I would never see them again.  I know I had been a bit out of control but I couldn’t remember any specifics. 

Daryl gave me a bath with oatmeal shampoo.  It felt so good, and I wagged my tail at him so hard I chipped the tip and started to bleed a little bit.  Daryl put me in his truck, because it was cold outside and dirty in the school, and he wanted me to dry off where it was warmer and cleaner.

I lay in the back of the truck, wondering what was going to happen to me now.  I had done everything this man had asked me to do.  Was it time to go back to the crate?  But it wasn’t.

Daryl came and got me from the truck.  He brought me back to the arena in the school.  He put me on the lead and gave me all my commands.  I sat, walked, trotted, made left turns, made right turns, sat some more, stayed, and did the recall and return. 

Suddenly, Daryl put his hand in the air and waved.  From behind a wall full of black windows, My Family came out!  I couldn’t believe it was them!  Mom came out first, then Dad, then Jamie.  Perhaps they had forgiven me for whatever it was that I had done wrong, and came to take me back home!  I couldn’t dare to hope, but my eyes glistened and my ears stood straight up.  They walked toward me, smiling, and stopped at the entrance of the arena.  My heart was pounding.

Daryl had me at the sit position, but as Mom approached the arena, he let me stand up.  I wagged my tail; no, I waved it around; no, I spun it in a circle like the helly-copters that fly over our backyard.  I stood there, all my senses cocked and ready, my nerves straining, but I did not jump.  Mom scratched me under the chin and told me she’d missed me.  I looked up at her and saw the tears in her eyes. 

Then Jamie came over, and I was so glad to see him.  Daryl told my family, “only scratch her under the chin for now” and so Jamie did.  Then Dad came up, and I made a little submissive bow.  “She’s good for you,” Daryl said.  “She knows you are the alpha.” 

Daryl went on, explaining as he jabbed a finger at each human:  “You, she sees as the boss.  You, she sees as a playmate/littermate. And you,” he finished, poking a finger in the air toward Mom, “You are both female, so she doesn’t know what is going on.  Having her sleep in the bed is making it worse, because she is making you two equal.  From now on, she sleeps in her crate.”

I vaguely overheard the word, “crate” but honestly, I was so busy feeling like I was going to shed human tears, that I didn’t care. 

Daryl gave the lead to each member of my family, one at a time, and had them take turns walking me, sitting, returning, staying.  I did all my commands.  My family was proud of me and they all said that my hard work looked like it had paid off (at least for now).   Daryl said, “She’s all yours!” and we headed toward the door.  Daryl gave Mom a piece of paper and invited us for 8 Advanced Training classes, so he can check our progress and help us move forward.  Before we left, Dad bought a bottle of that spray that tastes so awful to take home in case I start chewing.

Dad had the big van to take me home.  I thought Zeus would be there, but I guess he’s too small for all of us.  I curled up on the seat of the van, next to Jamie, and closed my exhausted eyes.  I gave one thump with my tail on the seat.  I hadn’t been given away.  My heartbeat was starting to go back to normal.  I was finally, finally, finally, going home.

Love, Maggie

9/14/13 Graduation: I Did It!

After my tumultuous morning, I was ready to listen at Obedience School.  So we (Jamie, Mom, and I) piled into Zeus and off we went.  The instructors gave everybody a few minutes to practice, then we all had to sit by the wall until we were called, dogs and handlers, one at a time, into the arena.  We were put through our paces and judged.  We missed 1st Place Blue Ribbon by 3 points.  But I had an excellent score (Mom helped a little) and I got my Certificate and my gold Ribbon.  I worked hard!

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Sitting, and staying! 

I think I’ve come a long way.

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Stand, stay, and my Certificate & Ribbon!

Mom is starting me on Advanced Training (10 weeks) next Saturday.  By the time we complete this course, I will be able to be a hospital or therapy dog, and retrieve things and people (Search and Rescue).  Mom sometimes leaves me out of the crate when she has to go out now, and her only major issue with me now is that I still jump, but not as much.  I know training and a couple more birthdays on my part will correct this.  I feel more trusting and confident!  And this is good for my kind, for people to see me, and know that Pitbulls are not a bad breed.  Mom wants me to get all the training I can so I can go out with people A LOT.

I had a surprise when I got home:  I crashed on the couch and in seemingly no time, the doorbell was ringing!  I met my new friend Max from Aussie Pet Mobile Grooming, and got a bath and nails clipped right there in my own driveway!  No sitting around with other dogs, no scary kennels.  And I was done in under half a human hour!  Max was so nice, I even let him dry around my ears.  I usually don’t like the dryer, but he had me calm and relaxed!

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Overall, it’s been a great day.  I feel wonderful and my family is proud of my accomplishment.  Plus, my fur is absolutely glowing and I smell fantastic!

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I’m just going to relax and chill on the couch now!  Here’s looking at ya!  And thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoyed the pix!

Woof!  Love, Maggie

 

 

7/27/13 Obedience School, Day 1

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(Me, not jumping.)

Today was my very first day of Obedience School and boy, am I tired out.  We worked for a solid hour with no breaks.  Let me back up and start from the beginning.

I knew something was up this morning when Jamie and Mom got dressed early.  I forgot it was Saturday, and thought they were going to go out and put me in the crate, so I was skulking about.  However, they put me in the car and we drove to the school.  When I got there, a puppy class was in session and my nose was going a mile a minute.

Gradually some other dogs drifted in, some my age, some younger.  I am proud to say that I didn’t really have a problem with the other dogs on neutral territory.  Oh, I wanted to mix it up a couple of times, but there wasn’t that “rage” feeling like I had when I felt my yard was invaded.  So I behaved well.  I was given a choke training collar.  Mom frowned when she saw it, but soon she realized that it was necessary.

We walked into a concrete arena kind of thing and we were all given the SIT command.  I did not want to sit at first, there were so many other interesting things going on.  And that is where the choke collar came in.  The instructor walked over, pulled straight up on my lead, and the next thing I knew, I was sitting.  As the hour passed, we sat, stayed, heeled (if that’s a word), went to our masters, and did a lot of walking commands.

I am so proud to say that the teachers used me as an example dog for much of the class.  I did very well.  I know I have a long way to go, and class is 8 weeks, but Mom and Jamie got a lot of good tips and I think we are all going to be on the same wavelength.

This makes me very, very happy.  I feel like I was star student!

Love, Maggie