My Dog Molly: The Paradox

A girl's discovery about her dog and herself.


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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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10 things I love about you

Having a reactive dog can be a lot of work. It can be exhausting, frustrating, and heart breaking.

Knowing that exercise is critical for these dogs I walk Molly at least an hour and a half a day (often more) along with lots of play and training time. But while most people find walking their dogs relaxing I always have to remain aware of everything around me…aware but not ‘on guard’ as I don’t want her to feel that energy. And while most times she’s okay there is the occasional moment where all the training flies out the window and she’s regresses completely. It’s at those times I feel overwhelmed, scared, and…I hate this one…like I can’t do it anymore.

There have been a few moments where I’ve considered re-homing Molly, thinking there must be someone else better for her. But then she does something; something small and simple but it makes me love her even more. And while she’s been great lately I figured I need to keep those little things she does top of mind so I don’t feel like giving up again.

So here are 10 things I love about my girl Molly:

10. When she wants me to do something she will stand in front of me and stare with furrowed brow and ‘humph’…not bark, not whine, but ‘humph’.
9. How she nearly bounces out of her fur the moment I pick up the “chuck-it” and head toward the backyard.

8. Every time I give her a piece of cheese she performs every trick I taught her in such quick succession that she exhausts herself…and I haven’t even asked her to do anything yet.

7. Whenever we play soccer she always has to have a deflated ball in her mouth.

6. The way she latches on to my arm like a sloth holding a branch when I’m scratching her belly.

5. The sheer exuberance she shows when rolling around on a freshly mowed lawn.

4. When I come home and she’s laying on the floor with her bum and tail wiggling like mad.

3. The fact that she tolerates me ‘decorating’ her for special holidays.

2. How she loves to cuddle first thing in the morning or when she’s sleepy.

1. Her shiny black noes and loving eyes.

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