Saturday, December 8, 2007

Mollie Be Good

The dog broke my nose yesterday. She hurdled through the seats to lick my face as I was turning my head to back out of a parking space. Her head hit me and "crunch" went my nose, and my bumper as I backed into the pickup behind me. I look like I have been in a bar fight. It has been a long twenty four hours.

It has been a long two weeks. Come Sunday we will have had Mollie for a fortnight. So far she has chewed her way through a new box of humidifier filters, a gallon jug of distilled water, two tennis balls and a bone. We have purchased a child gate, pinch collar, short leash, dog food, dog bowls (which she has tipped over twice thereby finishing flooding the laundry room), fence posts and 100 feet of horse fence. Oh, and a new bumper. She has broken a lamp and scratched the heck out of the buffet and both of us. We have been on countless walks. She is scared spit less of the cats.

As I sit here with my aching head and non-functional nose I am deciding if I want to keep this dog. She may just be too wild. She is nice and there is not a mean bone in her body, but she is young and uncivilized. She was untrained before she went to live at the ranchette and two months of living in a field with thirteen other dogs just made her wilder. She appears to love me to the point of nuttiness.

Therein lies one of the problems. I can't stand it. She gloms onto me and won't go away. If I move so does she. She whines if she is not at my side. I can't get anything done. I have fallen over her twice. She is learning "sit" and "stay" but not fast enough. She is driving me batty. I finally had had enough a couple of days ago and yelled "just leave me alone." I recognized the voice. I used to follow my mother around trying to touch her. She hated it and would push me away saying the same thing. Gad. I also almost hit Mollie on the head with a wooden hanger. She was jumping on me for the umteenth time and none of the stuff I have been told to do was working. I was raging mad as I hollered at her and raised the hanger. She immediately cowered at my feet. I felt no compassion. I just wanted to strangle her. What I did was call her and put her in her crate. Then I went out side where I couldn't hear her whining for me. As I stood out on that freezing step I understood a little more about my mother and I.

Another lesson in intimacy. Another lesson in trust. I have been Mollie. I have not been my mothers. Now I am. After the hanger incident shame and self hatred washed over me and I have been attempting to anchor my self in the bottomless oblivion of food. Getting smacked in the nose yesterday may have knocked some sense into me. Forced me to come up for air (to carry the nasal theme a little further.)

Both of us, Mollie and I, were badly parented. Most of my rough edges have now been loved off by the God Given Ones in my life. I am no longer whining and panting for love. I am filled up. I need to learn to give love as much as Mollie needs to learn to receive love. We are a pair forged in Heaven.

I have located the blender. Still can't find my cookbooks. I must have inadvertently given my winter sweaters away, and I need them. We go wireless on the 20th. I will croak if we have to wait much longer. I NEED TO WRITE. It is no longer a choice. I write or wither up and die.

Hope you all are doing well. I miss you more than you know. Take care.

Love Bea


Vickie said...

If you want to - you CAN teach her good manners - but it is going to take a lot to get there. I have taken dogs just like that and turned them into very good, calm dogs - but it is just exactly the committment of having a baby.

My personal method is to either have them on a lead or in a crate 24/7. I only put them in the crate when it is time for them to sleep. so every minute that they are not sleeping - they are right next to me on a lead. I even have them on the lead when I take them out to potty.

The last dog that we had that was very much like Mollie's personality that you describe - we played with outside a LOT - fetch with me - chasing my husband when it was him (my husband loves to run - so he would run and taught dog to first run after him and then run with him). We had LONG nylon lead for these activities.

If you half do it - in my opinion - you are going to be fighting this dog's personality for EVER. So, in my opinion you either have to put in the effort now and get a really good dog - or find a outside home for her.

Anonymous said...

We also got a new dog about a month ago, she is about 1yr. old. It has been extrememly challenging, but I feel certian once she realizes our affection is constant and assured, she will seek it less and come to depend on us. Try to remember what she comes from and she deserves a chance at a loving home. Ask the Lord to give you patience, In Proverbs the Lord tells us how he awaits the birth of the bear cubs. Maybe in this situation the Lord is blessing Mollie and teaching you. I think the Lord must think my personality is similar to Mollie. You are showing kindness and that is always rewarded. Have a Blessed Christmas!

Vickie said...

Just in case you are back on again this week - when I had a dog that I kept on lead all the time that it was awake - when I stopped moving - I expected dog to sit at my side. When I moved - I expected dog to walk nicely and stay on that side - not cross in front of me nor tangle my legs with lead. So, this meant that I kept the lead VERY short. I praise with attention and pats personally - not food. I try to make eye contact so the dog gets used to watching my face.

Have you been in a store with a "counting" mom - whose child has learned not to do anything on the first request and makes mom get to at least 3 and several threats before they consider obeying? Think of this same philosophy with a dog - teach them to do it the FIRST time with a quiet voice.

My most vivid memory of the dog with the "busy" personality (like yours) is standing with the lead under one foot at the stove or the ironing board - just enough of the lead so the dog could sit comfortably but not move. That dog never took its eyes off me - once I got him used to the concept.

My favorite dog - a sheepdog - would not exit or enter a room without an invitation. HE also would not go up or down the stairs without an invitation. The front door could stand open all day - and he would not have gone outside unless invited. This was a BIG dog - so much of this was safety - not Dog Nazi-ism.

My kids also mind. Not a small feat in today's world.

Middle child was the hardest - I carried her in a baby sling until she learned. I figured if I never put her down - she couldn't run away. so, I just didn't put her down unless she was somewhere safe. We dramatically baby/toddler proofed one huge room and then all lived in there until she was old enough to learn. You would NEVER guess this all from seeing her now. But it is a wonder that I lived through her toddler years.

Anonymous said...

My dog is same as yours with wanting my undivided attention. I've had him for 2 years--he's a Border Collie, so he's outside protecting the property. He expects to go for a walk EVERYTIME I step outside or at least have me petting him.
I have to remind myself to not project my human emotions on him. He will always be happy when attended to, sulky when not. It isn't going to damage his "adult" life if I don't adore him 24/7. He is not a human child being raised with self-confidence and esteem.
Set limits and stick to them. He'll used to the routine.
As far as the chewing, that will stop too, once the surroundings become "home" to him the chaos of relocating has left him.
Hang in there a little longer--it'll work out. He'll be the most devoted spirit in your life.

Anonymous said...

It takes a little work, but Mollie can be a great calm dog.

Get Cesar Milan's two books. He is the dog whisperer. I liked both, but "Be the Pack Leader" really tells you how to work with your dog. If you can, get some of the DVD's from his show - the Dog Whisperer. I get them through Netflix.

The biggest thing is you have to help her work out her energy...that means you walk her an hour a day. I have two dogs -we walk 20-45 minutes before work and 12-30 after work. I'm loosing weight and my girls are calm and happy.


Cindy164 said...

I don't know what to do about that dog. Reminds me of the one at my mom and dad's house (Honey stays outside). And the new almost boyfriend has has a milder version as well - he was using the rolled up newspaper method this past weekend. If I pet him, he goes nuts. I have to sit on the couch and not even say anything to the dog or he will be all over me. I feel bad, because he is a sweetie and I want to pet him, but if I do, he can't get enough. When my friend leaves the room Bear sneaks over and tries to climb on the couch with me, so I massage his forhead a little and try to get him to relax. I am a pushover with pets. Looks like you got a lot of good suggestions here, though. So sorry about your nose, that's awful. It happened to a friend of mine playing with her akita. I know it will take a while to heal. I am looking forward to you getting to write more. I really really miss you. hang in there!!!

Nory Roth said...

OUCH!!! So sorry this happened to you. My best friend had the same thing happen to her soon after adopting her lab -- they are just a little too affectionate for our own good! Good to see you post again. Looks like you have a LONG road ahead in civilizing this creature. But, it will be well worth it! I agree that the "dog whisperer" is a good resource!

Vickie said...

If you are on this weekend - have a VERY merry christmas - if I don't "talk" to you before the holidays!!!!!!

Arlene said...

Dear Bea,

You cannot imagine how uplifting all your postings have been for me. Felt like "home"! And had me in stitches. Have been reading some of them on and off, and loved your husband's observations about the clock he does not like very much and why the "green" in veggies is regarded as "less than healthy". Guess it is all in the mind, isn't it? I sometimes wonder whether it is the "intention" that gets us to become something different, i.e. loose weight, rather than the foods we eat, or the methods we choose. You know, when we decide we are going to be thin, or we think "fat and ugly", and both set off bundles of energy that lead into different directions. Sort of the intention that makes anything happen and that intention is connected to our characters and who we are, and can we ever get away from ourselves?

I read somewhere, that our character is our "fate", something we can never get away from. A movie with Kelvin Kline, a DVD I borrowed from a DVD Rental Movie place. Amazing wisdom from it. I just looked it up now to find the title for it "The Emperor's Club" and a description of it can be found at this shortcut:

Wish I could have had a teacher like him. And wow, was the acting ever good.

Very late in the night, but thought I should let you know how much I am enjoying your blogs and they have meant something special for me. I am even in the process of looking up the "food plan" and considering purchasing the books to read (always a long process for me), as that is a very unique, life-long challenge for me too, every word you have written about compulsive overeating bounced off familiar territory for me! Thanks for all of it! Xmas not being the best of time of course! I envy you someone to share yours ... are you doing blueberry pie in a good oven this time? What a Xmas it must have been!

Wonder what prompts one, to get in touch like this and to arrive at your blogs. I.e. I was doing searches on Natural Progesterone, Progest-E Complex for Raymond Peat and looking for reviews, and when I was working through the links, arrived at your blogs! Turned out better than Progest-E and I am still reading through it! Is it my character leading me to it, fate again? Like you and you husband linking up as it was meant to be?

Guess I am too stubborn in my negative appraisal of myself to ever have something as good as that to make its way to me! But it at least provided me with a good feeling, as it must have for most of those reading your blogs along "sigh ...." lines. Sounds as though I am STUCK in the thought of always being alone and "the ugly duckling"? Is this my character and fate? Or are these just thoughts that create a stubborn intention? Wonder how one can divorce these, the thoughts and "fate and character" .... getting too heavy now and probably inspired by late-night lack of inhibitions, have to make my way to bed ... nighty night .... :>) AND many many thanks! Hope the nose is OK now, must have been super painful, think the cats will have the answer for what to do with the dog. Have you had a meeting with them yet? :>)

Warm regards


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