The Macho Minute is about my dog Macho, a chihuahua I rescued in January of 2010. Macho was rescued from a house in Dearborn, MI where 100+ other Chihuahuas were found alive and another 150+ were found dead amongst garbage piled from floor to ceiling. Due to these living conditions, Macho is very timid at all times. I created the Macho Minute to share Macho's stories and progress, as well as my joy of rescuing a dog who needs extra love and care.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


When I first created this blog, I really didn't think anyone would read it. I wanted a way to track Macho's progress and thought this would be a good way to do so. I had hoped that maybe I could reach people by sharing our joys of rescuing a pet so that when they are ready to bring home a dog or cat, they would consider adopting from a shelter instead of from a breeder. Of course Macho's case is a bit more extreme than others, but there are thousands of animals out there in shelters just waiting to be adopted who don't have any behavioral problems. Maybe their previous owners moved out of state and couldn't take their pet with them, or they lost their job and couldn't afford their pet, or maybe, like a blog I follow here, the owner was forced to give up their pet just because of rules and restrictions in their subdivision or neighborhood. Not all shelter animals have had a rough past that might make them a little different than other animals that you might adopt from a breeder. That's the word that I hoped I might get out through my little blog about Macho.

I noticed today that I have 10 followers to Macho's blog! One is my mother, but I'm still counting her :) I just wanted to thank everyone who follows Macho's blog and has kept in touch with his progress. I'm hoping that my message about adopting shelter animals is also coming through to any readers. Hopefully my following continues to grow, and maybe by the end of the year I'll have 20 or 30! It's a wish, but you never know!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trainer Check-In

Since my last post, Macho has been doing really well. Our trainer came this week for the first time in a month, and she couldn't believe the progress that Macho has made since. She was really excited that he was sitting with me on the couch and let me put his leash on without a fight. We haven't really been working with him on the leash, so she has us doing that again. She really didn't like that Macho doesn't like to sleep in the same room as us, and now we make him sleep in the bedroom with us because we close the door. It seems like he is a lost more calm now in the bedroom as he hasn't been as skittish whenever we roll over or move around in the bed. If we also get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or something, Macho will leave the room, but he will come back. So far it's been working great!

While working on the leash, we are supposed to get Macho to walk with us. Surprisingly, it's been somewhat easy to do this. He will walk with us until he gets close to something he can hide under. But if we just continue to walk by and not give him enough slack to run under or become tangled in anything, then he is fine.

We live on a very busy road in Metro Detroit, and every August, they have a huge event where people can drive their old/classic cars up and down the road. It's a nationally known event, so it attracts a lot of people, and as you can guess, a LOT of loud cars. The entire week up to the cruise, people start driving their cars at night. Macho wasn't too thrilled when the loud cars would drive by. He was never scared, but you could tell he was on edge at night. We decided to have a BBQ the day of the event, but were a little nervous about how Macho would be when people would walk in and out of the apartment throughout the entire day. He actually did really great! I have a few very younger kids in my family, and they wanted to play video games inside. Instead of running away or hiding underneath the table, Macho was on the couch hanging out. We still got a little nervous as the boys can get rowdy, so Nick decided to put him in our bedroom. Macho actually let Nick carry him into the bedroom, which he usually would fight as hard as he could. To make it even better, Macho was crying in the bedroom because he wanted to come out to see what was going on. We eventually just let him roam the apartment since he was doing so great.

When our trainer left this week, she said that her next task for Macho is to get him ready to go outside. She said that if he is curious about what is going on outside our apartment door, that we should venture into the hallway. I was out to dinner w
ith my mom and aunts today when Nick sent me the below picture. I couldn't believe it, Macho was outside of our apartment! Looks like he'll be outside sooner than we think :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Totally New Macho

Since adopting Macho, I have been very patient with his progress because I know how hard it must be for him. It hasn't been easy to love the little guy so much, yet not be able to hold and pet him. With the one year anniversary of Macho's rescue and the 7 month date since we've adopted him, it seems that Macho has become a completely different dog.

Two weeks ago I posted pictures of Macho laying with me in my bed. It got me thinking that maybe I could get him to do this on our couch. I put the leash on him, walked him over to our couch, then sat down. Macho jumped up and down a couple times, but never really relaxed. The next day, I decided to try again. I sat on the couch holding the leash, let him jump up, and he actually stayed next to me. We sat there for about 15 minutes, and the entire time I was petting him. I took the leash off his collar, thinking he would run away, but instead he actually laid down! We sat there for a couple more minutes just petting and relaxing.

Over the next couple days, Nick and I took turns getting Macho up onto the couch with the leash on his collar. Then while I was cooking dinner one day, Macho came right up to the couch and sat down with Nick. We finally found out that we don't even need the leash to make him want to come to us. The last week or so has been very exciting knowing that we can just call Macho and he will come and lay down with us. What's more surprising is that he's not sitting 5 feet from us- he is literally cuddled up next to us, on our laps, or with his head on our legs.

It's amazing to think that just 7 months ago, this dog wanted nothing to do with us. Then you think about how he was a month ago, where he still was nervous around us but was starting to trust a little more. Now he wants to be around us enough that he sits with us and close enough to us to be pet.

Being patient has finally paid off. Of course we still have more progress to make. We took a couple weeks off of the training because our trainer was out of town and then we were out this past week. We still want to get Macho completely pad or house trained, get him outside, and just become more comfortable with us at all times. But for right now, we are pretty happy and are pretty sure we have a happy puppy :)