Remembering Pride

One of the great dogs of the world left us all too soon on November 2, 2012. I never met him in real life, but feel like I knew him well through my dear friend and his person, Marge Rogers.

Marge got Pride as a petrified 5-month old puppy from Ridgeback Rescue. He and his littermate had been dumped by the side of the road. That’s him in a shelter in Orlando on the left. He had been staying plastered to the back of his kennel.

Pride (on left) in Rescue

When she first met him, she couldn’t even touch him. He was the more shy of the two abandoned pups. His littermate (who got adopted the same day) came forward and did all the talking.

Marge had to ask Pride if his coat was soft. (It was.)

In the loving home of Marge and Bob and their older ridgeback Rounder, Pride blossomed into a quirky quickwitted boy with a sense of humor. Here he is exploring the yard blower.

Ridgeback vs Blower

He turned out to be wicked bright, and thrived on Marge’s gentle touch and training skills.

Ridgeback Puppy Enthusiasm, featuring the Kangaroo Stand

He was soon helping Marge demonstrate very helpful training techniques on YouTube.

Using a Target for Various Behaviors, including a Tuck Sit

And learning tricks in the tradition of all her ridgebacks, historically considered to be an “untrainable” breed. (Of course the following “tricks” have extremely useful applications. I wonder if there was ever another ridgeback with such delicate, soft mouth skills?)

Removing a Band Aid

Retrieving Eyeglasses (by the arm!)

When Marge decided to make a video of all the steps of the Ian Dunbar Sit Challenge, 18 month old Pride showed well with the “big dogs” who already had multiple titles.

Sit Throwdown

And when she set herself a challenge of teaching one of her dogs to do a hind leg lift, Pride again rose (ahem) to the challenge.

Pride Naughty

This is one of my favorite dog pictures of all time. How she lucked into and captured the wicked look on his face I will never know. He was a GOOD boy, not a naughty one! Marge made a very clever Christmas card that was used as a fundraiser for Ridgeback Rescue.  Her various cards have raised over $2500 for rescue.

When Pride developed reactivity, Marge turned her efforts into getting the most expert help available and consulted with Leslie McDevitt and Dr. Karen Overall. She changed her training focus to helping Pride relax in his own skin and develop confidence.

Marge’s training videos have helped so many dogs and their people all over the world. But the following video of Pride’s demonstration of Dr. Overall’s technique of a dog learning to take a breath is a true classic. I remember clearly how excited Marge was when Pride learned to do it on his own to calm himself.

Teaching Pride to Take a Breath

Marge had him only three short years, but the joy that each brought the other had no end.

Pride at the Beach

Msaada Click Me Please (“Pride”)  6/28/09 – 11/2/12

The Comments section is open as always, and you can also write a personal message to Marge in the sidebar and I will forward it to her. I hope those of you who knew him in person will tell some stories below.

For some of Marge’s favorite photos of Pride, click here. You can also see more videos of Pride, Rounder, and Chase at Marge’s YouTube channel. 

15 thoughts on “Remembering Pride

  1. Lucky Pride to have been so well loved and understood. Lucky Marge to have had such a wonderful companion, who was able to teach her so much that she will be able to apply to other frightened and misunderstood dogs. Sounds like their two paths crossing was sweet destiny.

  2. I am the one who first spotted Pride At Seminole County Animal Services the shelter I worked at. I knew he was the one for Marge. Through all their work and the videos Pride has proven something that many people fail to believe. YOU CAN get awesome dogs at animal shelters. People do throw away remarkable, smart dogs. All they need is their own person to show them the way like Marge did with Pride. My heart breaks that Pride is no longer with his family that loved him so much. I am thankful there are so many videos that show what a remarkable dog he was and that he knew all the love in the world for his 3 short years.

  3. Marge is a valued friend and thankfully she let me have special care time with her boys when her schedule took her away from home. Pride wasn’t just a dog – he was actually a friend, because only a true friend can light up the way Marge’s dogs did when I got to see them. He blessed me on his last night by curling up beside me for some TLC like he had never done before. Some dogs are great dogs and some dogs are angels in puppy suits. Pride now has his wings.

  4. Awesome story and Margie was a real trooper in Memphis, Don’t know how she did it we love her Sherry!

  5. Eileen, this is a lovely story and I’d like to watch the videos however the links don’t seem to work. Are you able to repair and resend the post?

    Thanks Fay

    1. Hi Fay,
      I sent you an email with the plain links. A head’s up to everybody: sometimes the video links don’t work if you get the blog via email and read it that way. You can usually view the videos if you read the blog through your web browser. But if anybody else is having this problem and wants me to mail the individual URLS, just make a comment or send an email through the sidebar.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a clearly extraordinary dog and his family. I am so very sorry.

  7. Pride… what a lovely and loving name. The tribute and videos show just what a gem he was. This special bond between Pride and Marge are so apparent in the videos. I hope that the wonderful memories fill her heart every day.

  8. Oh Marge, I’m so so very sorry for your loss. I truly hope that you will eventually be able to get past the sadness to the point where you can remember all the good parts without the sad so much. Pride was so blessed to have you in his life, and obviously you were blessed right back to have him.

  9. Eileen and friends,
    Eileen – thank you so much for this beautiful tribute. It helped me heal more than you will ever know. And to everyone who took the time to read the blog and watch the videos of our boy – thank you. All dogs are special and have something to teach us. The sadness in my heart is being replaced with a much lighter, happy feeling – a joy and appreciation for having such a special teacher and gift in my life for 3 years. Happy training everyone.

  10. I have really enjoyed watching Marge and Pride’s videos on Youtube over the years. I am very saddened to hear of Pride’s passing! He will be sorely missed!

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