Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Training 19

I'm very proud of my girl for the way she handled herself last night (Monday).  A longtime and very good friend of mine, who we'll call B, stopped by for a visit, when - long story short - plans went awry and he was in the neighborhood and left with no where to go (that's what happens when all of our friends are home from college and plans don't get finalized 'til the last minute).

Due to Marge's issues with the front door (and with men), I kept her down stairs in the basement with Jessica while B entered the house.  Once he was seated in the kitchen, I called her up to me and fed her an entire slice of cheese, bit by bit.  I had told B to pay absolutely no attention to Marge, and, unlike so many of our house guests, he was willing to help.

Marge had no problem with his presence, for the most part.  She did give him one grumble when too much pressure was put on her, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact that she has come to expect treats from all people, including scary ones, so she was vocalizing her wish for a snack in addition to the fact that she was slightly nervous by the situation.

Otherwise, she walked around the room as usual, came up to bop B with her nose a few times, was comfortable enough to drink water, lay flat on her side, and try to get the remaining pieces of treat out of her Waggle toy as we chit-chatted for a couple of hours.  She acted pretty much the same as she normally does.  She gave lots of tail wags and even jumped up on him a couple of times.

I gave her lots of cookies and a lot of verbal praise.  For once, I can say that she experienced an almost purely positive meeting with a male visitor in my house.  Thanks, B, for all of your help - we don't get to do stuff like this very often, so I cannot express just how monumental this was for Marge!  A little help can go a long way.

Maybe, eventually, the "accepted persons list" will be expanded to fully include people like B.  I'd say this was a great start.  This gives me hope that Marge doesn't have to "hate" all men by default - in the right situations, she can really flourish and become friendly with people.  They just have to be able to ignore her and not pet her - which is the hard part, because you can't control people. It is for those reasons why Marge is now so completely enamored with my boyfriend, Louie.  In the beginning, he simply left her alone and let her approach on her own terms - now, they are inseparable!

At the end of our visit, I leashed Marge and walked B out, and we girls went on our first night walk in nearly a week.  It was short, but she enjoyed herself.  I was quite glad for that; given how well she did in the face of a stranger, she deserved a little fun.  Good girl!


Cyndi and Stumpy December 29, 2009 at 6:48 AM  

She'll get there,Sam. There was a time when Stumpy would have been shivering under a couch or chair to avoid quests. she may not welcome people but once they are in and sitting she makes the rounds looling for scritches and new friends. Once she makes a new friend, they are friends for life.

Way to go, Marge!

Sara December 29, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

Good for you! Marge did great, because you took all the right steps to make it a positive experience.

It's so much work, but the payoff is huge.

Diana December 29, 2009 at 7:23 AM  

Great job!! My dog Guiness is a rescue. It took him living in my house for one year before he would go up to my husband. He has men issues too. Diana

Bijou December 29, 2009 at 7:43 AM  

Way to go Marge!


Jules December 29, 2009 at 8:09 AM  

Sam, Super job managing the situation for Marge. You set her up to have a really positive experience. Clicks to both of you!

Frankie Furter and Ernie December 29, 2009 at 8:12 AM  

One small step for Sam. One Giant step for Marge!!!
Christmas came twice this year for you two. That is grrrreat.

KB December 29, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

It is amazing how hard everyone finds it to 'ignore' the dog. I request that when K is nervous but 90% of people ignore me. I'm so glad for you that B complied!!!!

Way to go Marge!

Kathy Mocharnuk December 29, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

You know I really think that so many people think all dogs should be rushing up to everyone for pets and I think there are soooooo many dogs that are ok with others -they just dont particularly want to be handled a lot by people they dont know, I do not want everyone I meet to be touching me, it is really neat you understand that about Marge it sounds like Marge was really a super star. It sounds like you have come such a long way with her, I am really glad you had a terrific guest that followed directions and let Marge make the moves, whooo hooo brave little Marge-overcoming her fears! Great job for you making a good plan introducing them and not leaving things to chance - setting Marge up for success!

Golden Samantha December 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Sam, you are such a great and patient trainer, helping not only Marge, but educating others on working with Marge!!! Whoopee - great job on both your parts and B's too! Big Pats Marge!
Hugs xo

Gus, Louie and Callie December 29, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

Way to go Marge.. You are making such project...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Kari in Alaska December 29, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

way to go Marge!

Rufus and Indie December 29, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

Marge keeps improving! That's amazing
Congrats Marge!

Rufus and Indie

Two French Bulldogs December 29, 2009 at 7:36 PM  

Good job...we say extras cookies for you
Benny & Lily

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! December 29, 2009 at 8:18 PM  

Once again, khongrats to BOTH of woo!


The Army of Four December 29, 2009 at 9:09 PM  

Way to go, Marge! (And Miss Sam!) AND B!!!

Muttsandaklutz December 29, 2009 at 9:29 PM  

Fabulous news Sam!! Congrats on this excellent progress.

Scout and Freyja December 29, 2009 at 11:02 PM  

YEA, MARGE! You go girl! Each and eFURy thing that you do is a miracle to our momma. She sure is fallin' in love with you♥

kissa-bull December 30, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

yey for marge!!! we are furry proud of you
the houston pittie pack

SissySees December 30, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

Wonderful!! I found you through Sue... I wish we were closer; my Knight is outstanding with dogs that don't like men...

Life With Dogs December 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

Great news - and to see you start off a post in such a positive way is a pleasure. Your frustration factor seems to have reduced substantially this year. Of course, you had a lot to do with that. ;)

Sue December 30, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

She's come such a long way since early summer. She may never be totally comfortable with men, but she's making progress. Happy New Year to both of you.

Charity, Katie, Louie & Natalie December 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM  

Great progress!

Btw, we love your blog and are looking forward to reading more.

xoxo, Katie and Louie the Newfies

Donna December 30, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

Hi Marge! Hi! :)

Lisa December 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM  

Great progress. Contrats!

Ice Pony Girl December 31, 2009 at 3:44 PM  


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