Friday, November 13, 2009


Marvin is still with us! There has been only one interested couple in him so far, and sadly they decided a puppy was too much responsibility for them right now. He didn't portray himself in his best light, bless him, as he would not stop humping their legs. Oh Marvin!! But it's a pleasure (if sometimes exhausting) to have him here still. He barely puppy bites now and instead loves to lick which just goes to show again that there is no need to reprimand your puppy for biting - they will just stop!
In housetraining, I still can't get Marv to go more than three hours without peeing, but now at least he walks to the door and sits there so I have a clear sign of when he needs to go.
His best friends are now dogs, particularly Violet, a french bull dog who lives in the block opposite. Marvin simply cannot wait to get in the dog park and wrestle with big dogs and small, and yet he is never too boisterous. I trust him entirely and I'm so proud when I see how well-behaved he is compared with other puppies in the park. 
Not that Marvin is without issues. Here he is in the photo looking so happy! That's because he just snaffled himself a wonderfully large discarded pizza crust. Oh the scavenging! and the resulting upset tummy! On the short block to the dog run, Marvin keeps his nose to the ground ready to hoover up anything edible (or seemingly edible), and it's a tremendous effort trying to stop him. East ninth street seems to be the dumping ground for chicken bones, rice dishes and pizza crusts, and at the moment, all those tasty morsels are cleverly hidden from my view by piles of leaves.
I know Marvin is fed enough that he is not scavenging because he is hungry, but rather because he is anxious and needs to bite or chew something to calm his nerves, and I blame myself for not being more sensitive when he arrived. After all, before coming here I would guess the only walk Marvin had been taken on was when he was walked to the shelter gates and left there.
In hindsight I should have taken treats out in those first few days and toys for him to sink his teeth into on the way to the park to help him overcome those fears. To further aggravate the matter, my natural reaction when I see him lunge for a scrap is to jerk him away. I'm pretty sure this has only added to his anxiety. It certainly isn't helping.
So under Lee's advice, I'm going try and not pull him away from the scraps if I see them, but simply stop in my tracks so he cannot get to them, and then entice him back to me for a treat. The aim being that, when he sees a scrap, he will look to me first. I'm also going to look for a toy that resembles a stick that he can carry in his mouth. A ball I fear would roll into the road if he dropped it. I think having something in his mouth will really calm his nerves. I noticed if he picks up a leaf in his mouth, he can get all the way to the park without scavenging, so I think that is the solution in the short term, short of becoming a street cleaner!
I also think he needs his confidence building up some more still. When things get hectic in the dog run, he runs away to dig a hole - a clear sign of nervous energy needed to be let out.
But Marvin and me have some time to work on this. Sadly Posh Pets Rescue adoptions have completely dried up with Thanksgiving approaching and no one has expressed an interest in him in over a week which is unheard of for a Lab mix puppy as cute as Marvin. I'm sure the right family is out there waiting for him though, and when they come to see him, hopefully I'll be able to show them what a confident and happy little walker he is. It'll be up to him to control his humping urges though!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Almost a week on and Marvin is doing great! The humping has calmed down, and only now on very excitable occasions might he accidentally pee inside. He's a gentle and happy soul who does what he is told to do with a wagging tail. He plays with his toys, fetches balls, won't jump on the sofa or bed (unless we go out..), and chews only what he should (okay.. I lost a pair of training shoes to him on day two, but..), and he's very warm and friendly with people on the street.
He's a little unsure at the dog run still but has been in a couple of situations where he has happily wrestled nicely with another dog of his size. Unfortunately this morning a shitzu got out of bed the wrong side and took her mood out on Marvin, so that has set us back today, but he's definitely getting there. And he so loves the outdoors, I can take him anywhere. Here we are in Stuyvesant Town on Halloween.
He's still a little thinner than I would like, even though he is getting three mugs of puppy food, a breast of chicken and countless organic doggie treats and cheese cubes a day. I've bought some doggy fish oils to go in his food now as I noticed his coat is quite dry. Puppies cost a pretty penny!
I received an email today from a lobbying/rescue group in California that is actually pushing for pet owners to be granted tax exemptions on part of their annual pet-related outgoings. Because of the recession, an increasing number of pet owners have surrendered their animals as they simply cannot afford them. California's shelter numbers are up 12% since the end of 2007, for example.The ASPCA estimates the number of dogs and cats to be dropped off at shelters to have been as many as 8 million in 2008, and only 25% to 50% of those animals end up rehomed.
The HAPPY Bill would allow pet owners to deduct up to $3,500 of pet-related expenses a year from their tax returns and may help to keep owners and their pets together when the going gets tough. Here's the website: