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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quite a Slacker!

I've been slacking a little bit when it comes to updating about Macho! Sorry about that :)

Since I last updated, Macho was able to make it to his Chihuahua Reunion! I wasn't able to get him outside before it because it was raining every single day for a week or two. I didn't want to take him outside only to get him muddy and have to give him a bath. I couldn't imagine how hard that would be! On the day of the Reunion, Nick had to go to LA for work. I was all by myself, and I decided that he is going no matter what. I got out his carrier, picked him up, and got him inside of it. At first he was scared and tried to get out, but after he calmed down, he was fine inside of it for the rest of the time! I packed up his harness and leash, then took him out. He was fine in the car, just laid down to rest most of the time.

Once we got to the Reunion, I took him in his carrier to get checked in. It was great to see all the other chihuahuas doing so well. I was a little sad that Macho couldn't be alongside of them on a leash, but at least he was still able to be there! He was doing great with others. Many were curious about him since he was in the carrier, and I was able to unzip the top for them to peek inside. Sometimes he would stick his head out to see what was going on. He also let a couple people put their hands inside to pet him. I think that is a pretty big achievement as well.

I got a little too excited that Macho was outside, that I thought he might be ok to try a leash since there would be so many other dogs all around. I put his harness on him in the car then attached the leash to it. I let him hop out of the car, and he was walking around and sniffing for about 30 seconds before he realized the leash was attached to him. That's when he started getting scared and began biting at the leash. He struggled so much that he actually got out of the harness, which was completely terrifiying for me! I was able to pick him up before he was able to get anywhere, but the thought of the harness being too big for him to get out of was too scary for me to keep trying. I went to the store right after to buy a harness that fits him better, but I haven't been able to try it out on him yet. This time I am going to use it in the house to make sure he cannot get out of it before I take him outside.

The Reunion was a big step for Macho. Although he was scared at first, he didn't mind being in the carrier. He also seemed to be curious about what was going on around him. That makes me think that he would love being out on a leash so he could sniff around and see things that he may have never seen before. I'm not even sure if he's ever walked on grass in his life. I'm going to continue working on getting on the leash, and hopefully with time, he will get used to it. I know many dogs are afraid of a leash at first, that is probably the same fear that Macho has now.

I am looking into hiring a dog trainer that can meet Macho and hopefully give me some tips to help him progress. I'm hoping that if I can find someone with experience in helping animals who have been abused/neglected, I will be able to help Macho feel less comfortable and a lot less stressed. I want him to trust us at least because it is obvious that he is still nervous around us sometimes.

But for now, the search for a dog trainer continues and hopefully so does Macho's improvement!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Only Time Will Tell.

Good things come to those who wait. That's what I keep telling myself with Macho! I like to think about how he will be in a year. Two years. Five years. It makes me excited. When I am trying to be patient and let Macho come out of his shell, it can be really hard and sometimes frustrating. But I keep giving him time and let him grow on his own.

As you can tell, Macho has not made too much progress since I last updated, but he is still doing great. Trying to get him to let me put on his harness is still a struggle. I know I should just be more confident and make him put it on, but it's hard to see that he is scared and know that I am the person making him that way. He still has not been outside, but it is something I try to work on every day.

It seems as if Macho is starting to trust me more than Nick. He comes up to me a lot and sniffs my legs or hands. But he will not come by Nick at all unless he has cheese, of course! Macho also runs away whenever Nick gets off the couch or comes into the room. Surprisingly, the other day when I laid on the bed, Macho hopped up and laid right on my legs. I couldn't believe it. I let him lay there for a couple minutes, and when I tried to pet him, he jumped off the bed. But then he came back and laid a little further away so that I couldn't reach him. I was excited that he actually came and cuddled on the bed with me though. I know it shows that he trusts me a little bit more each day.

We are more than happy to give Macho a loving home where he can grow, but one thing that is driving us crazy is the peeing in the house! We are really excited to get him to go outside just so he can go to the bathroom out there too. I know that he doesn't know any better, so it's no big deal to clean up his pee. But when he pees on things in the house, it gets frustrating. We came home from the gym this week only to find that Macho had gone pee right on our bed! I had to wash the comforter and bed sheets. We also will clean the house and find that he has peed on other things- pillows in the spare bedroom, legs of the furniture, it's everywhere! For now I know that we just need to get him out of the house, and he will start to learn. The shelter also gave us this thing they call a "peeny wrap" to help with house training. It's one piece of fabric that wraps around the dog's body with velcro, you put a panty liner inside, and then when the dog pees, it will absorb it. Then you can just change the panty liner out. It would help a lot so we want to try to use it, but I'm more worried about Macho not even letting me put it on him! It is something we are going to try out.

Nick is going to see his parents next weekend, and unfortunatly I won't be able to join him since I'll have to stay home to watch Macho. I am hoping that it gives Macho and me a weekend to bond. Since he is sometimes afraid of Nick, I'm hoping he will be able to relax. If I can get him outside next weekend, it will be a major accomplishment. I think he would absolutely love it.

Although it can be frustrating to let Macho grow at his own pace, it sometimes becomes worth the wait. Last week, Nick caught Macho playing and running with a bone. He even saw him wagging his tail. We have only seen him do this one other time, so to see that he is somewhat happy makes me want to give him all the time in the world. It has only been four months since we adopted Macho, and if he only gets better with time, I cannot wait to see him in a year. Or two years. Or five years :)