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Barking at the dog

I found that if the dog bolted I could use a harsh tone in my voice and reel her back in. Gruff “Molly COME!” and she would come. I trained myself to use that gruff tone to get her to respond. A few days ago I consciously began calling her in using a softer voice with more cheer and happiness and found that she responded just the same as when I would call her gruffly but there would be more excitement in her eyes rather than an submissive tucked tail and lowered head. Making the effort to be excited at her return or answer to my call/request made her happy to respond to my request.

We sometimes have to leave Molly at home alone. She cannot always be left in the car or go wherever we happen to be traveling. Crating her was too tramatic. Her panic attacks in the crate grew to the point that we thought she was going to hurt herself and we conceded to letting her run free and paying whatever consequences resulted. Those consequences to date have been packages of food (like spaghetti) strewn about the house, toys eatting, feces and urine on the floor, books torn up, papers dragged from desks but overall nothing irreplaceable or terribly costly. Mostly, being as intelligent as she is, Molly communicated quiet well that she was punishing us for leaving her alone. A few times (maybe 3) I came home and called her over to the mess, forced her nose into the mess and scolded her. Now she is doing much better and last night was along for nearly 3 hours and didn’t even have an accident! No mess! Nothing to clean! Last night she did not cower from me but the few previous times she has been left home alone I called her excitedly to tell her how good she was but due to the 3 punishments she would cower to me each time despite my wanting to reward her. I would feel horrible.

In punishing a child, or adult, or animal – in dealing with them with anger – consider how much damage is being done. One slip, one bad time takes many good experiences and much more time to heal the unnecessary damage. I am still very angry and jaded toward the Knoxville Police Department for what I feel was a very unjust ticket. If I cannot move beyond that one incident, how am I to except a child to move beyond a harsh scolding when a gentle talk is all that is necessary.

I cannot change the world but I can change myself; and perhaps, just maybe, the world will decide to be like me.

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