My Dog Molly: The Paradox

A girl's discovery about her dog and herself.


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hope and expectations

Today was a reminder that sometimes things don’t go as well as you’d hoped. Sadly, things went as I expected. Perhaps I set myself (and Molly) up for failure just by ‘expecting’ but that doesn’t mean I stopped hoping.

I asked a couple of friends if they would mind swinging by the house one night next week to take Molly for a little walk as I have to zip out of town for a few hours after work. They immediately agreed as they had puppy-sat for me last year and love her. Now, because I’d made some changes to the tools with which I walk Molly (using a Halti now instead of the chain collar) and there have been a few shifts in her behaviour, I asked them to drop by so I could run through a few things. They did and she didn’t like it.

At first she was wiggles and happiness but then her demeanor shifted and she growled and snapped. I asked them to give her a command (make her work for everything) and she listened but when they would try to pet her again…growl and snap. This happened a couple of times. My friends were very understanding but did appear saddened by her behavior…and I couldn’t help but feel responsible.

What am I doing? What have I done wrong? She listens to me. She follows me beautifully. I just can’t get her to feel the same with people she knows…let alone people she’s never met. Am I missing something? I wish I knew what was going on in her pretty little head. I feel like I’m letting her down but I don’t know what to do.

My friends are still going to come by next week to take her for a walk. There’s a part of me that wonders if I’m a contributing factor and she might be fine when I’m not here. But I’m nervous and I feel horrible.

To calm us both down we went for a walk and she was lovely but..and here we go again…am I the right person for Miss Molly?

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all wiggles and happiness

Autumn is here and that makes me happy. It is, perhaps, my favourite time of year. I get to pull out sweaters, and scarves, and mitts, and hats. There’s a wonderful crispness to the air which always makes my step a little lighter and faster. And I think my happiness with the change of seasons is reflecting on Molly. She’s been doing well, really well.

When I first got Molly she was all wiggles and happiness when she met my friend Warren. He’s the type of guy who will get down on the ground and wrestle with a dog…all obedience training goes out the window with him and she loved it. Then about three months ago she and I were out for a walk when we came upon Warren but instead of her normal joy she growled and snapped. He and I were both confused and taken-a-back. It made me sad to be honest. So when Warren was coming around to the house today to help me with some yard work I was a little nervous–how would she react? Would she snap? Would she growl?

To be safe, I had a plan. When W arrived I would ask Molly to go to her room (kennel) and lock her in. He knew I was working on her behaviour and would understand. In the end, the plan worked. She was a little pouty when he left I let her out of her room but she got over it. What I didn’t realize was that W forgot something and came back to the house . And when he came to the door, M bounded right over and cuddled into him. Even when W bent down to wrestle a little with her she just wiggled and smiled…tail wagging like mad. He then grabbed the Chuck-It and they played fetch in the backyard for 15 minutes. No growls. No snapping. I couldn’t have been happier and neither could she.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some struggles and bumps. But I’m seeing progress. Inch-by-inch there’s progress.

Yes, I really do love autumn and I think someone else does too.

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