Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Funny Megan!

Megan unwrapped a bra yesterday. We had a mail-order bra sitting on the coffee table. We hadn't taken the time to get it out of the plastic and off the hanger. When we got home yesterday the bra was neatly laid out in front of the television and the hanger and plastic bag were nearby. She didn't harm the bra or hanger at all. She just...unwrapped things. I guess it was something for her to do!

Pam took Megan for a walk home from the grocery store yesterday. Apparently, she wasn't real fond of the busy urban environment. We think it's good for her to be exposed to it though. Sparky was really good at sticking close by so we could take off his leash when we were within a couple of houses of home and he would just go straight to the back door. Well, Pam was still in the habit so she took Megan's leash off in the driveway. She said the moment she took it off she realized it maybe wasn't such a good idea. However, when she said, "Megan, come in the house!" she went right to the door. So I guess this demonstrates two things: 1)She listens to Pam at least a little and 2) She doesn't bolt the moment she is off-leash without a fence. We don't want to test it too much just yet, however.

This morning I was holding the cat in my lap while sitting on my chair in the living room. Megan's bed is right next to my chair. The cat didn't run away immediately. Megan gave the cat a little lick. Dulci didn't really enjoy this -- she hissed! Maybe they are closer to being friends, though.

Still can't get her to play with toys. She has learned to stay pretty well in the kitchen at least. We'll work on "sit,stay" with distractions next. We are trying to teach her to shake. She does have the natural tendency to raise her paw.We'd like to work with this, but we're never prepared with treats when she does it and she hasn't done it during a training session yet. I get the distinct impression (see opening paragraph) that she is getting bored so we're trying to do things to stimulate her.

She goes for her first vet visit tomorrow. Once that is over and she is certified as being vaccinated along with getting her license (still waiting for that to come in the mail!) perhaps we'll look into having her go to doggy day care a couple times a week.

Sparky was a sweet dog but he was never this smart and he was pretty content to be a couch potato. Megan comes with her own set of challenges. Not that we don't enjoy them!

Monday, January 11, 2010

One week with Megan

Of course, we're still getting to know each other. That should be the first statement I make.

Megan will now sit pretty much on command as long as she is in the house with the promise of a treat. We haven't tested her outside those boundaries yet. She is almost to that point now with stay as well. She is good at walking on a leash although she still goes into a frenzy as we're putting it on her and immediately afterward. We know this is a situation where using the sit command could come in handy, but we haven't tried it yet.

She will now solicit petting from Pam. As Pam so astutely observed, the breakthrough seemed to come when we had visitors. I think Megan quickly calculated the difference between people just coming into the house and Pam and realized that Pam is part of her pack. She still won't really listen to Pam now and sometimes when she goes to Pam her demeanor is extremely submissive. There is progress, though, and we're encouraged by that.

She and the cat can now be in the same room very briefly with no ruckus. In fact, on one instance they actually touched noses before the cat ran away.

I have discovered that if I stand in the backyard with her, Megan will put on a show of rushing and bounding through snow. If I just let her out she generally will run and do her business (sometimes) and quickly return to the door. So I now stand out in the yard with her every morning and evening at least, regardless of the cold and/or dark. On a related note, she NEVER eliminates on her walks. I'm not even sure she enjoys them much, but I'm hoping she will come to like them.

We went for a ride to the grocery store and for a visit to Pam's sister. It was the first time she had left the house - other than walks - since she came home. She didn't much like the visit, but we think it is good for her socialization.

If we get excited over a televised sporting event, she gets upset. This is the first time we have ever heard her bark or growl. She barked at Pam, she growled at Pam's brother and nephew. She never made any move to bite, just made noised. Eventually, she ended up in my lap while I sat in my favorite chair. I guess I was protecting her.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Home alone

We are leaving Megan home alone all day for the first time. I am a little nervous as to what we might find when we get home, but we've got to start sometime!

She has been a pretty good dog. We haven't given her the chance to get near the front door so there has been no more bolting. Her ID tag came in the mail yesterday so I feel a little better now that she's wearing that. She pretty much knows the sit command now and we are working on stay. I'm not sure she knows her name.

The big problem now is that it seems she will only listen to me. This is not good. She won't come to Pam. I'd really like her to respond to both of us. I suppose she has only been around a few days and I should give her more time.

She and the cat are at least acknowledging each other now. They are not on friendly terms now but the cat isn't hiding anymore, just hissing and growling if Megan comes near. I suppose that's progress.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Adventures with Megan

We got Megan on Sunday. So far she has learned to lie in her bed and walk on a leash. And I swear we have practically taught her to sit in one session. She's not consistent yet, but we can tell she's starting to get the idea.

Not everything is sunshine and roses though. This morning she got out the front door when I was putting out the mail. The front yard is not fenced and she was off like shot. Let me tell you, that dog is FAST!! So Pam and I threw on our clothes and went out looking for her in the subzero morning. I saw her at the far end of our street,across the major dividing road. I walked toward her and called her but she wouldn't come to me. Instead, she shot off in the other direction and was soon out of sight. We had pretty much given up hope of getting her back. She doesn't have an ID tag yet (we've ordered one) and there was no way we could catch her and how would she even know where to come back even if she wanted to? We were convinced that she didn't really want to live here and had run away. I was sitting down to send an email to the shelter when I looked out the window and there she was waiting outside the front door! I just about fell off my chair. How did she know the right house already?! Oh my, this girl is smart. And I guess she really does want to be here because she came back. However, we really need to work on training her not to bolt and to come when she is called. We were pretty upset with her, but I guess she just doesn't understand living in the city yet.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Photos of Megan

These are available on Flickr

Megan is home

We brought Megan home yesterday afternoon. So far she is very quiet and subdued. She has no idea what she is supposed to do or where she is supposed to be. She is easily spooked. Poor baby. On the upside, she has already learned it is a good thing to lay in her bed - she's smart as a whip - and she has a good appetite and likes treats and petting from us. She also enjoyed her rawhide. She has shown no signs of destructive behavior nor has she had any accidents. We are leaving her alone in the house for the first time this morning. I'm hoping I can leave work around noon today. I'll do some pictures later, but the camera seems to be one more thing that freaks her out right now.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Good news

We went to see Megan today. She immediately put her front paws on my arms, looked into my face and gave me gentle kisses. That sealed the deal. We are going to pick her up tomorrow.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Megan update

Our application was approved and we are going to meet Megan in her foster home tomorrow afternoon! I hope we will be bringing this sweet girl into our home soon.