Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dad's Day

One thing I haven't blogged about at all lately is Marge's relationship with my father.  For the most part, my silence on this front means that nothing has changed.

We seem to have hit a plateau, for the time being, in terms of Marge's comfort level around my dad.    She has neither progressed nor regressed (thank goodness) significantly.  However, I don't think that's a bad thing... I actually think we're in a pretty good spot.

Through some sort of funky combination of both classical and operant conditioning, Marge now comes running to me 99% of the time when she hears the sound of the front door opening (recall that my father walking through the front door is one of her biggest triggers).  She'll generally lie either on the doormat behind my chair in the kitchen or, if we're in the basement, make her way to her crate.  Then, she gets treats as the door opens, my dad steps inside, and the door shuts.

Now, when he enters the room, her body language seems a bit more relaxed.  Generally, she gets up, takes a big stretch, wags her tail a bit, and then campaigns for treats from him.

My dad's behavior around her isn't perfect, but it does seem like he reaches out for her a lot less than he used to.  He still does make her bark when he asks for behaviors that she isn't wholly comfortable to perform.. but I suspect there's really nothing I can do about that.

Lately, I've noticed that when my dad is on the couch, either sitting or reclining, Marge will choose to go over to him to be petted - even to the point that I can't call her away from him.

Is there relationship perfect?  Nope.  But I think we're making it work as best as we can.  That's all I can do!


Golden Woofs! SUGAR June 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM  

Woof! Woof! Dad on the couch is the best time of my day too. Happy Father's Day. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Sue June 19, 2011 at 1:00 PM  

It sounds like you've made progress. The relationship may never be what you'd like it to be, but relationships often aren't.

Dawn June 19, 2011 at 5:48 PM  

Happy Father's Day to your Dad. Sounds like he and Marge have made peace.

Natasha June 19, 2011 at 6:22 PM  

It sounds like Marge and your dad have settled into a comfortable routine :) Happy Father's Day!

Unknown June 19, 2011 at 7:40 PM  

The relationship between Marge and your dad sounds more relaxed and I take it as a good sign!

Happy Father's Day!

An English Shepherd June 19, 2011 at 8:24 PM  

Happy fathers day :-)

petdoginsurance June 20, 2011 at 8:52 AM  

Happy Father's Day!

Pet Sitting Denver

Sheltie Times June 20, 2011 at 11:01 AM  

Its a start. Bailey doesn't know a stranger. However, Katy only accepts my husband and I. Everyone else seems to be a permanent stranger. However, over time we have noticed her patterns are changing. You have to look at the patterns over time to see the small increases, but they are there.

Your dog has made progress and with time he and Dad may learn trust.

Kathy Mocharnuk June 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM  

Sounds like a pretty workable management at this point, you can not be disappointted with that! ;-)

Kari in Alaska June 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM  

Glad to hear that she is holding steady with your dad


ForPetsSake June 20, 2011 at 11:28 PM  

Sounds like their relationship is going in the right direction which is awesome! Little by little it will improve - just keep those treats coming :)

Cheryl and Kirby June 25, 2011 at 7:47 AM  

How nice that Marge is becoming more trusting of him...keep up the good work with her!

Kirby's mom

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