Sunday, May 2, 2010

Keeping Things Friendly

Regular readers know that Marge can be kind of picky when it comes to canine friends. This makes the role of her handful of play buddies extra important to me.

We've tried to set up a couple of play dates this weekend, but they didn't really work out.

Friday, We headed over to my grandmother's house, whose neighbor has two Cavalier/Bichon mixes who Marge absolutely adores. Since they and their owner were home, we were fully expecting to be able to go over to see them in their yard ... but, as it turns out, their owner told us she was trying to grow grass in her yard and didn't want them running around back there. They were out on leash in the front, and I suppose I could have walked over, but I didn't want to intrude.. she didn't sound like she wanted to be bothered that day.

Yesterday, we did get in a little bit of a "play date," training at the club with little Westie S and her mom. They didn't play much, because it was REALLY hot (see picture below of Marge melting into the concrete while in my yard), but I suppose just being together works, too. The only dumb thing Marge did while there was guard her treats.. my fault, mostly, for leaving them out on the seat.

Later on Saturday, Marge did get to see her little Boston Terrier friend, Gordon, for a couple of minutes while out walking. If you recall, he was having some reactivity/aggression problems himself. I really felt for his owner, and I thought it was going to be the end of Marge's encounters with him. Well, as it turns out, Gordon is doing better with other dogs. When he and Marge spotted each other, they both instantly went into play bows and chase mode. I cautiously allowed her to approach, and it worked out. There was no snarking on either end. There is no polite introduction with these two. They literally just run up to one another and start going bonkers. Ideal? No. But better than nothing, I think.

This morning, I saw Buddy, the spaniel mix, out in his yard. I asked his owner if Buddy would be home today, and he said yes. I then told him that I was going to go home and get Marge, and he said it was okay. Yay, I thought, something is finally going to work out. Well, I got Marge, went over, and his car was gone and the door to the house was shut. Buddy was probably inside the house with the man's wife, but, since it was 9 AM, I didn't want to risk waking anyone up.


Crap. I'm glad she had the couple of encounters that she did, but I really would have liked for her to have a real play date. It can be so difficult to find play buddies, maintain relationships with them and work play dates into both parties' schedules. I'm hoping to have practice time at the club with one or two new people, but who knows when that'll be and how it'll go. Anyone else with nutty dogs like mine have these issues?

(PS - I'm SO behind on visiting blogs. Tomorrow afternoon, after a quiz at school that I expect to go horribly, I will have plenty of time to read about what every one has been up to.)


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! May 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

I'd play with Marge if I lived khloser!

My neighbour Sammy is a Cavalier/Bichon - he's khwite the nice chap - and LOVES to entertain himself with his toys AND enjoying the yard as I do!

Good lukhk tomorrow!


Kathy Mocharnuk May 2, 2010 at 11:14 AM  

good luck on your quiz!
Finding play partners is really hard! Glad Marge and the Boston got off to a new start again and she got to play with her westie friend!

Love the picture of Marge melting into the ground, LOL.

As for bones, the easiest to get ahold of and the easiest to find things : I give beef ribs, or the marrow bones, but mostly they eat a lot of raw chicken with the RAW bones of course...never cooked

Anonymous May 2, 2010 at 11:15 AM  

A play date sounds so much fun. I sure wish I lived closer! My mom found a day care she really likes that is in a lady's home. It's been really good for me to meet other dogs like this - in a controlled environment with somebuddy who knows what she's doing with dogs. Our other daycare was just too chaotic and well, I kinda hated it and it made me scared. But gosh, what I wouldn't give just to have a few buddies that I could haves regular playdates with.

Wiggles & WAgs,

PeeS. Good lucks on your test tomorrow!

LauraK May 2, 2010 at 11:32 AM  

Riley used to play with any and everyone, but ever since she got attacked, she's had some issues. Going to agility class and trials has REALLY helped her to be friendly with other dogs and ignore some of them.

Yesterday at our trial, she was play bowing to so many dogs and it made me smile, because I know that she doesn't feel the need to be as reactive anymore. I'll try to post our videos from this weekend, and good luck on your quiz, I'm sure you'll do great :)

Sue May 2, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

We play with each other but we do have a couple of brave friends who like to come and play with us in our yard. Sometimes Mom will take one of us to someone's house to play. She says we have to be very careful about who comes to play with us because of Samba's immune system. She can't be exposed to any kind of illness.

Amy / Layla the Malamute May 2, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

Layla isn't reactive exactly, but I gave up on finding her playdates. One reason is that she'll play bow to dogs and the owners (people we train with, so you'd think they have some concept of dog behavior) shriek and yank their dogs away. As if she was snarling and foaming at the mouth. It's a play bow, for God's sake. I got so tired of seeing Layla's heartbroken face wondering what she did wrong when these people drag their dogs away that I just don't bother. It's not worth upsetting her over.

Also, if she does encounter a reactive or aggressive dog, she won't act submissive. She usually doesn't growl back, she kind of gives them a look like, "Ha, yeah, okay." But since she doesn't submit, and she just keeps doing her thing, the other dog usually keeps reacting.

The one kind of dog that she DOES have an issue with are the untrained, psycho dogs with no manners whatsoever - you know the kind I mean, the kind that are guaranteed to make reactive dogs react. Malamutes are still very pack-minded and they find that kind of behavior (lunging at the leash, jumping in her face, etc.) to be rude and disrespectful and THEN she reacts.

Good luck on your quiz! I had to go on Medical Leave when I had my surgery but finals are one thing I'm grateful I'm missing.

Do you still plan on entering the Jamesburg show?

the teacher's pets May 2, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

It's funny that you discussed play groups in your blog today because I just returned from a Meet Up group and it went well but that was partially b/c my friend & I arrived late & didn't meet the group until we were about to head home! Will let you know how the next Meet Up goes (which will be next Sunday) and report back to you.
But, yes, we have had trouble socializing Daisy for a variety of reasons, some were just personalities that didn't gel or Daisy will go after a toy or treat that belongs to other dogs, etc. A big irritant for me is when we go to a dog park b/c some people interpret Daisy's barking to mean that she's a menace, vicious, a potential threat to their dog, etc, which stops them from allowing their dog to approach Daisy. Since Daisy is a coonhound, she barks for several minutes when she arrives at the park b/c she's excited and I wish people would understand that! Grrr!

AC May 2, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

Hope the quiz goes well! Playdates...Kona's very lucky to live next door to her best friend, who's a very submissive/gets over everything, golden-the perfect match for an often tense, smack and tumble, sometimes gets bossy, Kona Dog.

I think matching with the right human is huge also. I could never let Kona play with a dog who has an over-protective or reactive human, or a human who's clueless about dog communication. It wouldn't work for me to have a person freak out with every snarl...or wave off something that needs intervention...

Two French Bulldogs May 2, 2010 at 2:58 PM  

Sounds like you got to see some friends Marge. Hope you had fun visits
Benny & Lily

Anonymous May 2, 2010 at 4:41 PM  


I couldn't find a place to message you, but how have you and Marge been?

It seems like forever since we've lasted chatted!

I've started scrolling through all of your blogs trying to catch up.

Marge looks absolutely phenomenal! She looks so much more older and wiser, too. :)

Best wishes: Deege and Donatello

Sara May 2, 2010 at 4:55 PM  

Good luck on your test tomorrow. I don't miss those days. I much prefer making & grading tests to taking them. LOL.

I'm glad Marge got some playtime this weekend. The warm weather seems out of the blue! Where did it come from? I'm roasting!

The Army of Four May 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

I'd love a play date with Marge! We could walk to the Kansas Ocean together or something. I've never met a pup (or cat, or bunny, or ferret, or duck or goose) who I couldn't win over.
Play bows,
PS: We're way behind reading, too. :( Mom's fault.
PPS: Good luck on your quiz!!

houndstooth May 2, 2010 at 5:55 PM  

We used to try to get together with some dog friends, but the logistics just got to be crazy and so we sort of gave up on it. We take them a lot of places, and unless Blueberry is tired, they can get along with just about any dog. We had to be a lot more careful with Hawk. He was just socially awkward! He hadn't a clue about how to approach other dogs. Hang in there! I think it will get easier as Marge gains confidence.

Cinnamon and Mint May 2, 2010 at 6:00 PM  

It looks really hot over there! It was very cold this morning here in Auckland.

It is not always easy for us to set up play dates either. Because my mum's work schedule is often unpredictable, deciding a time and date for a play date in advance is tricky sometimes. I think I haven't had an arranged play date for more than half a year!

Chris and Ricky May 2, 2010 at 7:39 PM  

Sorry your play dates didn't all work out - it is hard to find dogs to play with for me too.

The weather got so warm so fast there was no time to adjust! Poor Marge melting away in the photo!

Cyndi and Stumpy May 2, 2010 at 8:01 PM  

Hey! You'll ace that quiz tomorrow! It's hard to find Stumpy play pals, too. she really loves to play and before the Berner came along, it could be months in between some canine playtime. It's important to keep her social because she can be such a turkey!

Lorenza May 2, 2010 at 8:59 PM  

My mom wishes I could play with other dogs too... but all my doggie neighbors are always behind gates and we never see a human to ask him/her for a play time.
I hope something works for Marge soon!
Good luck on your quiz!
Kisses and hugs

Dexter May 2, 2010 at 9:56 PM  

It can be hard to find suitable playmates. I don't get to play with any doggies other than PeeWee because I can be too rough. But that's OK. We all do what we can.


KB May 2, 2010 at 10:12 PM  

Good luck on the quiz!

We have impromptu play dates on the trails... but that means that we usually don't get any say on who the dogs play with. Fortunately, most of the dogs are nice...

I think that it is hard to find people who prioritize finding friends for their dogs to play with like you do. I know only a few near me who think about the concept of getting together to let the dogs play together...

tula monstah May 3, 2010 at 1:00 AM  

Finding a good play dates is tough.. paws up for trying!

Marge anything over 60 degrees, i melt too. silly.


SissySees May 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM  

My girls both need more play dates with other dogs, but matching schedules never seems to work!

Amy / Layla the Malamute May 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

You absolutely made my day. I thought I was the ONLY person with just a regular sized car. Everyone else has the gigantic SUVs, vans or even the hatchback cars. Mine is too small to have her crate in it, so we'd never be able to work out of the car.

As far as the arbor, I saw a picture of it in the carrying back. It looks like it's about 4 feet long; I guess the legs split in three. It probably will fit in the trunk, but if not, it could probably just lay across the floor of the back seat.

THANK YOU for the optimism regarding us going outside for agility. I think after dealing with the absolute cruelty of some people in conformation, I get paranoid when I do anything with the dogs now. One day I showed Layla in breed, and she was losing her coat but I kept her in there just to hold the major, and when I got home there was an email waiting for me saying how I'm making a bad reputation for myself and everyone's talking about me. Can you believe that? They must've sent it from the show site or something. But, that's probably a big thing to do with why I'm so nervous about the agility.

Ann didn't send in her paperwork on time for one of the trials and the secretary said that none of the trials have filled to max yet, so you'll probably be fine if you wait to decide. I don't blame Marge for not liking the roller rink noise, it gives me a headache sometimes too. But the one day / one day idea sounds good. I know what you mean, there's too many possibilities to choose from!

Oh and don't worry about ranting in my comment box, I always leave crazy long comments too.

Amy / Layla the Malamute May 3, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

It does seem like a lot of the dog people take this stuff wayyyy too seriously. After all week of work and school, the training and showing is supposed to be a fun hobby, not something to stress you out more. Maybe the people have no stress in their lives so they have to create it elsewhere.

I was thinking of a battery powered fan too. I haven't gotten around to looking at them yet. We don't have those shade cloth panels that people hang on their canopies, so lots of water, the shade itself, and a fan will hopefully be enough.

I was thinking that about NADAC too, especially since they allow training in the ring. If it's going to be an NQ anyway, I might as well take advantage of putting her back on an obstacle for her to hold her contacts or something. The people do seem really nice and relaxed.

Yeah, the run through is MaryLou's. I haven't been there before, but it sounds really great. I'm glad that Marge liked it!

I think that Layla and Marge will end up becoming friendly. The only dog that she's not really friendly with in class is Diesel, but I really can't blame her. He's so intense!

Kari in Alaska May 3, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

I hope you didn't have to shovel her off the cement!

Natasha May 4, 2010 at 3:21 PM  

I have the same problem with Mika. And it's not like anyone would really WANT to have a play date with her either! The thing is, she's nervous (and snarky) around many dogs she doesn't know, but once she gets to know them, she's fine.

I remember Gordon; I'm glad he's doing better!

Dawn May 4, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

So hard to get these things to work. I wish Katie had a friend to play with too, because she's really shy. But no luck so far finding anyone that I trust with a fenced yard.

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