My Dog Molly: The Paradox

A girl's discovery about her dog and herself.


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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.

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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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