I'm actually late on celebrating MargeBlog's anniversary this year, since I completed three full years of blogging not today, but actually on this past Saturday. Perhaps my belatedness is a good thing, though, since today truly reminded me of how far Marge has come in the over one-thousand days she has now spent with me.
The Marge of today and the dog I originally adopted -- the dog I first wrote about in January 2009 -- are truly not the same animal. The dog I adopted was an extremely sensitive, afraid-of-the-world, yearling dog who, quite frankly, didn't have a clue about anything. She was unsocialized to both dogs and people, and, to make matters worse, also had the additional challenge of learning to live in New York City, a place so far removed in so many ways from her upbringing in Ellijay, Georgia.
The Marge of three and a half years ago would have hit the end of the leash and pulled desperately away from the many people and dogs we encountered today while we were out together delivering my newspapers. She would have never let those people pet them, nor would she have dealt well with dogs yakking at her from every direction. Instead, she approached them (albeit, some more cautiously than others) and simply ignored the dogs who sent so much noise her way.
The Marge of three and a half years ago would not have been able to take a walk in a completely strange neighborhood, with two other dogs, without lowering her tail and pinning her ears to the back of her head. She wouldn't have whined with excited enthusiasm and anticipation as we drove down the road to see those friends, nor would she have tore across the yard with them in attempt to get them to play, like she did today.
If her leash became undone in the front of that store, as it accidentally did today, there would have been a good chance that the Marge of three years ago would have darted away. The Marge of today simply stood by my side and waited for the leash to be snapped back on.
The little things like this have really started to add up over the years. I know that I am, without a doubt, experiencing the best years of Marge's life right now - still a young adult dog, but with enough time in New York under her belt to know that the world isn't a scary place and that there are good people and good things out there to experience.
Marge is literally the best dog I could have asked for. She has taught me so much about dog training and truly catapulted me in to an interest in learning, training, and behavior. The things we accomplish are made that much sweeter when we take a look back at our humble beginnings.