He had been around for ever. Been in this barn since the 1970s or 80s. He was supposedly bought from a cowboy around age 10 or 11, as a present for a young girl. What's weird about this is that he had supposedly jumped on top of someone (I'd assume that cowboy) in protest of crossing a stream - he never did like water.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Either way, he landed in the girl's possession and was to be her riding horse. Apparently, though, she was upset one day after losing at a horse show, and so her interest in him eventually waned. He was never sold by the father of that girl, and was still in his possession that fateful day when I found him.
The details of his history are fuzzy, yes; that's because literally decades had gone by since those days when he was used for riding. Taco had sat around for years without a real job or a real friend.
It was no surprise, then, that his coat was dull and dirty, his mane and tail unkempt, his movements slow, and his appetite non-existent. I don't know how he managed to keep weight on, because he would literally turn his nose away from a heaping bucket of feed.
A few months had passed since our first encounter, and I repeated the same process over and over again - go to the stable to ride, and then, when finished, go hang out with Taco. This was the first picture I took of him. After it was taken, he flew to the back of his stall and wouldn't come back out. We had startled him with the flash - he didn't have great vision.
Little eleven-year old me hadn't yet worked up the courage to ask if I could take him out and brush him. But, my riding instructor spotted me near him at the crossties after he had gotten his hooves trimmed, and asked if I wanted to groom him.
The answer? A resounding YES!
And, so it began. I spent hours upon hours brushing and cleaning that horse. All the other girls in the barn had "their" horse; even if they didn't own them, everyone kind of knew which horse belonged with which girl. After some time went by with Taco, the same began to happen for me. Even though I could not ride him due to his age, he became mine, and I became his.
Me and Taco, 2002
I absolutely slaved over him. Walks, baths, and lots of hair removal during shedding season were just a few of the tasks I undertook. I just really loved being with my new friend. Our relationship was just beginning to flower.
Stay tuned for Part 3, where I must make a big decision...
MargeBlog started in early 2009 as a training journal for my newly adopted, skittish Lab mix, Marge. Marge's world was small back then; her fears really limited the things I could do with her. Aside from trips to the park and attending beginner training classes, Marge was mostly a stay at home gal - not because either of us wanted her to be, just because the demons from her unsuitable upbringing continued to haunt her.
Slowly, the fear diminished, her world grew. Now, Marge is a fun-loving, squirrel-chasing, winning Agility and Rally dog who accompanies me to a wide variety of places. Here, you will frequently find detailed training updates, snippets from Marge's every day life at home, and photo-filled posts detailing our many outdoor adventures.
This is more than just a dog blog - it is an actual look in to what one shelter dog's life ultimately became when she found her first and forever home and began to blossom.
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A rescue from Georgia bounced around from shelter to shelter and state to state with her siblings, Marge did not have the luxury of living in a home - my home - until just past her first birthday. A life behind bars had taken its toll on Marge, whose obvious fear of people, noise, and city life in general left a lot for her to learn about how to get by in New York.
Marge is a different dog now than she was back then. It took years of new, positive life experiences, but her fears, which used to consume everything we did, are now only one theme in a great big book of adventures.
These days, Marge enjoys going to training classes, taking trips to agility trials, having play dates with friends, and eating anything that's even remotely edible - not bad for a dog who spent her puppy days in cages.
My time with Marge has been a learning experience for which I am ever grateful. As my first dog, she has taught me and continues to teach me so much more than I ever imagined about dogs, training, and behavioral/fear issues. She's a fun dog with a sense of humor who loves life and learning.
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- Technical Difficulties
- Level Up!
- Dog Crap and Dandelions
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- Tuesday Training 32
- This Time, Last Year
- Back on Schedule
- My Incredible Journey - Part 6
- My Incredible Journey - Part 5
- My Incredible Journey - Part 4
- My Incredible Journey - Part 3
- My Incredible Journey - Part 2
- My Incredible Journey - Part 1
- Mutts in the Ring
- Tuesday Training 31
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- Where We Belong
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