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.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Macho Man Training: Week 1

Last Saturday we met our trainer for Macho! We sat down to talk for a while about Macho's habits, how we "work" with him, his schedule, etc. I assumed she would tell us that we need to be the pack leader, and that is exactly what she told us. She realized right away that Macho is the dominate one in the house. He is in charge of when he eats, comes out of his cage, where he goes to the bathroom, and his attitude when we put him on a leash.

We're working now on becoming the dominate ones in the household. We now only feed Macho twice a day instead of leaving his food out all day and letting him eat whenever he wants. The first couple days were tough because he didn't eat at all. But on Wednesday, I woke up, put his food outside of his cage, and got into the shower. When I went into the living room, he had finally ate. He didn't eat that night, but he did eat this morning again. I'm hoping we can get him to continue this schedule and that it will help him realize that we are the ones who feed him.

The toughest part so far has been working with Macho on the leash. He HATES the leash! When our trainer, Maril, was here, she was able to work with me to actually put the leash on Macho. Then she showed me techniques to get him to calm down instead of just freak out the entire time he's on the leash. My major problem before Maril was that Macho would freak out so bad that I would just give up. Now I realize all of the problems that giving up causes, and when Macho is freaking out, I know what to do to make him stop. When Maril was able to get Macho to calm down and just sit with the leash on him, I couldn't believe it! He had never done that before.

Since Saturday, we leave the leash on Macho whenever we are around him. This way he gets used to having it on him. We work for him for about 5 minutes, then we'll give him an hour or so to relax. We try to work with him on the leash by calling to him to get him to come to us. The first few days we couldn't get him to come up to us. But then one day I was working with him and he slowly came up to me. Then today I was holding the leash, and every small step he took towards me, I gave him praise. Then when he got close enough, he just walked right up to me. He did it another time after that, too. I was pretty excited.

I'm seeing very small changes in him, and that gives me hope that Maril will really help us get Macho to be a better pooch. We'll see what happens this Saturday when she comes again and checks our progress :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


As Macho's improvements seem to slow, I started researching dog trainers online to see if I could find someone that can help him adjust better. I finally found a website that looked promising, so I spoke with the woman on the phone. I felt like everything clicked. She was saying everything that I was looking for and was answering all my questions the way I hoped they would be answered. I decided that this was the right thing, and we are scheduled to have her come meet Macho this Saturday! I am very excited and hoping that it all works out. Of course I don't expect Macho to be completely trained after one meeting, but I am hoping that she will teach us how to work with him so he can get better. I told her that our goals for now are to just get him more adjusted and to get him to go to the bathroom only on the pee pads. If we can get him to do this within a month, I'll be happy. Anything else will just be an added bonus!

Keep your fingers crossed for us this Saturday, and I'll update shortly after :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Short Documentary About Macho & Friends' Rescue

The Dearborn Animal Shelter, where I adopted Macho from, had this short documentary about the Dearborn Chihuahua Hoarding case on their website. It shows the story of the chihuahuas and their rescue last year. Although it can be sad, it shows all the positives that came out of this case. While the video gives you insight as to why Macho doesn't act like other dogs, it also shows what Macho and the other chihuahuas have overcome. At the Chihuahua Reunion, I saw that many of these courageous dogs are doing great. This gave me hope that Macho can join them one day.

Please watch the video and pass along to others. Part of the reason I started this blog was to show that adopting a rescue animal is a rewarding experience that can save the lives of many animals in shelters. This video helps me show that :)