My Dog Molly: The Paradox

A girl's discovery about her dog and herself.


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the girl is alright

Eek. It’s been a few weeks. If it helps matters I thought about what my blog entry would be every day for the last week. 🙂

Anyway, as you can tell by the title of this entry “the girl is alright.” Molly is doing pretty well. I’m actually a little in awe about the change in her in just a few months versus what we’ve been challenged with the last two years. More progress has been made since July than I could have ever imagined. While I’m sure some of it is age and maturity for my Molly-girl but there are some behavioural shifts.

There’s a path I always liked to take Molly on out in the badlands where I could let her romp through the tall grass and over the hills. But there was always a part of me that was afraid to take her out there. Other people take their dogs there occasionally and it is a known hangout for coyotes and deer–but only at certain times of day. And given that Molly would often ignore my calls for her return I was hesitant to take her there too often. This afternoon, however, I thought I’d give it a try.

For the first half of the trail I kept her on leash and things were pretty good. We did come across a puppy and Molly only did a little prance until the puppy started barking at her…then she barked back. But that’s a step forward. Once we reached a more isolated part of the trail (and when I knew for certain no one was around) I let her off leash and held my breath.

What was fabulous about the next 40 minutes was that Molly stayed within 20 feet of me at all times; she came the moment I called, and even sat on command when ahead of me on the trail. She was almost like a different dog. The last time I took her on this trail she was running so far ahead she would ignore my calls, lop over hills and disappear out of site. It made me nervous. Tonight, however, was a break through. Of course there were no other four legged distractions to tempt fate but that’s okay…it was nice to have some success.

So here’s my girl after her romp through the badlands…a little muddy but so happy…

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This evening we sit back and watch some tele by the fire.

Happy day indeed.

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it’s all in the hands

I haven’t done an update in a couple of weeks about Molly’s progress as things have been kind of hectic. Good hectic but still hectic.

So how is Molly doing? She’s doing okay. I bought a new cage crate for her as I felt the other one was too small. Yes, it was for a 70 lbs dog and M is only 50 lbs but she couldn’t stretch out or stand up straight with tucking her head down. Thus, I got her a new one. And, she seems to like it. In fact, last night, on her own accord, she trotted on in, fluffed up the bed, then lay down and fell asleep. It was perfect.

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This last weekend I spent a bit of time with a good friend and her family which included a mini boxer named Sammie. While Sammie is a lovely little dog she’s hyper…wiggly hyper. And I began to notice things that Molly does exceptionally well–she’s never had an accident in the house, she doesn’t snatch food from your hand, and she listens when you tell her to stop. But what intrigued me with Sammie were the hand gestures they used to train her. I’ve always known about using hand gestures for dogs but I never even thought about it with Molly, until now

I have a smart dog. She’s very smart. Perhaps too smart. Oh, and she’s stubborn…painfully stubborn. But she loves to learn so tonight we started training with hand gestures and treats. While the treats pushed her in hyper mode at first, she did okay. I had to remember to keep it simple in the beginning and progress slowly but I was happy with our baby steps. So we’ll continue with the hand gestures and treats as a means of getting her to keep her attention on me…something she struggles with.

It’s all part of the leadership training.