Tuesday, July 1, 2008

People Training with Maya

I had forgotten how much I really love being a dog owner - dogs in general. I'm now behaving like my toddlers to my husband, "Can we adopt another pittie, please oh please oh please oh please..." I am in love with Pitt Bulls now. Totally and completely. There are times when I wish we had at least a second smaller dog, perhaps a lap dog, but I love Maya so much, that I just want another Pittie for her to play with and for us to love on.

Admittedly, Cesar's techniques are not for the un-committed and they are VERY hard work, but so amazingly fulfilling. I cannot tell you how much I just want to break down and cry (out of happiness) when I see how fulfilled Maya is (and submissive) after we follow through with a Cesar technique. It's amazing! We recently started her on this treadmill we picked up from Craigslist. I admit, I secretly was skeptical that we would be able to get her on this treadmill and was regretting the purchase from almost the time we picked it up. BUT I pushed those thoughts aside, and just as I've been diligently walking her every day and night, I began training her on the treadmill. Below are her second and third sessions on the treadmill. The third session (second video) is totally without a leash!


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books



Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books


I am so proud of my girl. We are now walking three miles a night (yeppie!) or jogging three blocks and spending 2 hours at the dog park with a jog afterwards. On a personal note, I finally have found a way to ordered my much needed Topamax and hopefully combined with my now very active lifestyle, I will achieve pre-Paul pregnancy weight. Here's a hoping. :)

During our three mile walks, we have had some really great training opportunities. For starters, there are a lot of breaks in the sidewalks for roads into communities, washes, and parking lots. Even though there are a TON I've been able to take this chance to train Maya to sit at each of these breaks. More and more she is sitting before I even ask her. She is becoming very submissive to me now - today I was able to stand outside with the door all the way open without her running out but rather sitting calmly at the door inside waiting to be invited out.

At the dog park, I am learning that Maya is in reality a very SMALL dog. Whew! There are two Great Danes there (I had NO idea they were THAT big), a Great Dane/Mastiff mix, some HUGE German Shepherds, and even Siberian Huskies (which have always been a book favorite of mine BUT not a real life favorite as I am terrified of them). There are a few American Pitt Bulls (and mixes) as well as Boxers and I just love them all. Maya gets a chance to run run run - which she loves and to mingle with other dogs.

I do feel a little bad for my husband though - while I've focused in so intensely on Maya's training during this highly important time (ie her first months with us), he's handled the kids while I bike, run, jog, and swim with Maya. Maya seems to have boundless energy - however as we've been consistent with her exercise, we've been seeing her (finally) show that we are tiring her. I think it was all the pent up energy from the various shelters (absolutely not their fault - thank God these shelters even exist) but that we are finally breaking through it all.

As I've scanned through Craigslist to find a suitable pittie companion for Maya, I've been reading heartbreaking stories of abuse, neglect, or families being moved or relocated and not being able to bring their pets. It's so sad. I wish I could adopt them all. Poor things.

I finished Cesar's Way which I think is just the best book ever (along with Be the Pack Leader). The downside is that I am trying really hard to 1) not give people un-wanted advice about dogs now and 2) not be judgmental when people make statements like, "My dog doesn't need exercise," or "We just let him in the backyard and he's fine." I literally cringe when I hear statements like these now. I recently watched a dog training DVD (not be Cesar Millan) that was based on reward only incentives. I gagged. Really? Not to humanize my dog, but balancing a dog is very similar to discipling children. I'm not opposed to positive reinforcement (I believe it's very powerful) but I am entirely opposed to ONLY positive reinforcement. Make sense? So this DVD was very hard to watch. For example, it talked about dog proofing the house - which to an extent I agree with. Just as I would cover or protect the electric outlets from Paul and Anya, I would also teach them to NOT touch those outlets. I also believe in house proofing one's own children as well as child proofing to keep them safe. Balance.

On the a short religious note, I am enjoying the break from thinking about all these things and just enjoying Grace Point. Even if I don't always theologically agree with Protestant stance on things, I really do enjoy it there. Of course, right now I don't always theologically agree with the LDS church on things either - perhaps I'd be better as an agnostic. Not a bad idea. ;) All joking aside, Steve and I have been considering attending two LDS services a month and then two GP services a month. What an amazing husband I have - who certainly does not want to attend LDS services whatsoever, but is willing to do so to worship side by side with me. How amazing.

I've just requested Bart Ehrman's books on historical Christianity. Quite the interesting fellow - admittedly one of the best New Testament scholars out there, but now an agnostic. I actually have three of his books in print - Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and Faiths we never knew, and Lost Scriptures: Books that did not make it into the New Testament. But I'd also love to read some balanced reading on dog behavior and physiology and people training. ;) I'm also open for e-books on biking, skating, or running. So please leave your suggestions in the comments! Finally, I was recommended the book, "Eternal God: A Study of God without Time" by Paul Helm, anyone know if this comes on e-book? I just am not sitting down enough to read but am certainly on the move enough to listen to whole books.

Thanks everyone! :)

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