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Member since: Mon Nov 8, 2004, 11:31 AM
Number of posts: 7,549

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Her Royal Cuteness-Photo


Who needs Dieting or Boflex

I have lost nine pounds since bringing an active puppy who doesn't except excuses like "I'm too tired, cold or busy to walk, play or exercise today." This might be the kick in the pants I needed. I was told I was pre diabetic, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and was up to 224 pounds. I am 5 foot seven inches.

My left lung is only 75 percent active because I was born with partially paralyzed diaphragm muscles on that side. The doctors had been warning me to loose weight to take the extra exertion of that lung, or I might be putting myself at risk for not being able to physically function at all, because I simply wouldn't be able to get enough oxygen. Maybe Marnie came into my life now for a reason.

I knew in my head the doctors were right I have always been just simply too depressed to care.

But I have always believed I had a responsibility to my pets to give them the care they need so I am getting out there everyday with her.

Maxie and I would walk everyday too but as she got older everything was at a much slower pace and she'd tire pretty easily.

I can't wait for the doctor to see. I don't think he thought it would happen.

So I owe a debt to this puppy.

Continuing Saga of Marnie

Couldn't give her to the rescue people. First my sister who rarely ever gets emotional burst out in tears and said I am going to miss her so much." I just have this inexplicable feeling that she is meant to be our dog and we can't just give her away." Again I can't emphasize how odd this response was for my sister.

When she was talking about how I had to make sure I didn't forget Lamby and Blue dog Marnie's favorite toys because she had to have something to comfort her in a strange house, I was a goner because I was thinking the same thing.

Well my sister insisted on driving to the place where the rescue group was doing their meet and greet s and surrenders any way. She's stubborn and said no you were sure about this and you are only changing your mind because I am upset but you are the one who has to live with her most. At that point she was right. It was more for her.

Before she could speak to the lady from the rescue though I immediately said we are having second thoughts. They kind of insisted we bring Marnie in anyway to evaluate her and counsel us. Marnie was friendly at first but then started to whine and try to get back to me. I stepped forward and the lady said "she's got your number and she's playing you bad Mom. No one is hurting her. The problem is you're a few Marshmallow heart and she knows it." I almost wanted to say get your hands off my dog we are leaving."

Then Marnie started having one of her little fits and biting the lady like she does us. In a flash she had her in a restraint position and though Marnie kept fighting her at first she finally gave in and got docile.

My sister said "how did you do that.?" She said I am an Alpha female and without hurting her,I just let her know that." She said let me take you and her back to meet the rest of the group.

We all talked some more. They wanted to swap me an older gentler dog right then and there when I explained how long I had German Shepherds, that I had trained every single one how to do obedience commands and tricks, had started when I was little on reading training guides, and that my animals especially my dogs are my therapy for dealing with my depression. They all agreed they'd give me another without even a home visit first. They said you're clearly a loving and knowledgeable Shepherd owner, we just think Marnie's going to end up being too dominant a personality for you." I said thank you but Marnie is my dog and I was wrong I can't give up on her." At that point I felt it. It wasn't just for my sister's sake anymore.

We kept talking, came to the conclusion the other trainer was wrong that Marnie can be petted. They gave me the name of a trainer with a degree in dog psychology and even made a recommendation call for me as this lady has so many clients she rarely takes new ones.

They made me promise I would work with her. The one lady said I still think she's going to be too much dog for you, but there is a lot of love between all three of you so let's give it a chance. She said if it doesn't work I'll take her in a heartbeat and we will find you another dog that will help you not make it harder for you."

Another lady there though pulled my sister aside and said I don't know if you saw but while you were talking some of us were telling Marnie to sit, stay, leave it, she did them all. If she couldn't do Pre K because she was scared and the private trainer only worked with her for an hour, who taught her to do all that. This is a puppy that's been worked with a lot by someone who knows what they are doing. My sister pointed to me and said "it's all her". That lady said well I am glad and sad all at the same time because we were all already fighting over who was going to adopt Marnie permanently but my guess is she has her forever home already. You're sister can handle her she just has to believe that."

I even got one of their shy ones to let me pet him. They want us to keep coming to their meet and greets so they can help socialize Marnie even if we keep her. Keeping her is probationary on if the biting stops.

The thing is I wanted to do exactly what that first lady did from the start , because I am not a Marshmallow and I did do it with Maxie and Riggs who were both dominant but my vet and the training school said "the dominance theory is outdated and wrong" They made me second guess myself. When I was with other Shepherd people I knew my instincts were right, I just need to trust that.

They said of the other Shepherd expert I had worked with that she's fabulous, they love her, she knows her stuff, but her strength is in training police dogs and protection dogs not home companions. They think Marnie can be a home companion if she is trained right.

So I just have to trust myself and my instincts and see how it goes.

Always have believed in the concept of a forever home for animals

and I have never taken back or given away a dog that I brought into my home. For the first time in my life though I am actually wondering whether I will have to break my promise. Marnie is different not just from Maxie but any other Shepherd that I have ever owned.

We took her to pre K puppy classes twice. They couldn't keep her attention, she disrupted their class, she literally climbed the walls, she was afraid of the other puppies. They wanted to isolate her for the third session from the other puppies to see if they could teach her the lessons but we decided it wasn't going to work. The whole reason we were there was to get her socialized. What good is letting her hide in the corner behind a gate going to do?

Someone mentioned to us a trainer who specializes in German Shepherds and who has trained police dogs.We asked her to come evaluate Marnie. She said Marnie is not an inbred aggressive dog, but she is a dominant, highly smart dog and I am going to have to spend a lot of time trying to outsmart her.

The thing is she bites constantly. I've been the tree. Standing still. She backs off for about a minute and comes back and bites again. I've done the time out where I leave. The minute I return she starts biting again. I'm sitting in a chair she comes and bites my legs. We are walking she bites my legs.

I understand prey drive and herding instincts as I said I have had Shepherds since I was five. The fact that she's doing it to myself and my sister when she sees her, while we're sitting or standing still is another matter all together.

The trainer evaluator said she can get her to stop biting me but this will in her words never be a dog that I can pet. She said I will have to be contented with having her lay by me when I read or watch T.V. She said Shepherds aren't that kind of dog that wants to be lovely dovey and that this one definitely isn't. Yet all four of my other ones loved being petted and though they play bit they got a clue fairly quickly that wasn't acceptable.

I want a dog that I can interact with. Not one I am going to have to learn to have to keep a distance from or be on guard with all the time. I care about the dog and want the best for her but the bond isn't forming.

But how do I break the promise? I would never give her to the shelter but I am seriously considering asking the trainer if she could find someone place to re-home her. I feel guilty and like a horrible person but what do you do when you know it's not the right situation for you or the dog. I want to make the decision now before she leaves puppy good because I know it's header for older larger dogs to be re-homed!

Do I hang in there and keep trying or try to find her a better match? I need some advice. As I said I have never faced this situation before
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