The Evolution of Maggie

Maggie’s a different dog than any I’ve known before. It’s been 9 weeks that she’s been here, and we coexist peacefully. She’s doing perfectly on her potty training when I’m home. Going to work is still a major work in progress, and I haven’t found the perfect solution, but we’re working on it.

She’s still not very affectionate. Everyone has an opinion, and I think that the truth lies somewhere within all the wisdom I’ve received. She went to see the groomer last week and she did really well. She feels like Maggie doesn’t seem afraid so much as just empty. She said that most dogs see all attention as positive, but Maggie seems to see all attention as negative. If that’s the case Maggie must think I’m a terribly difficult person to live with. So much attention.

She encouraged me to look for her button. The thing that turns her on. And I’ve been thinking about it. She’s not highly food motivated. She doesn’t get excited about toys. She really doesn’t get excited about attention. She enjoys Katie’s company. But Katie is a people dog. She plays with Maggie, but then she comes back to play with me. The only that that really seems to turn Maggie on is going places. When I get the leash out she turns into a different dog. All happy wagging tail.

She loves to go in the car, even though we mostly go to boring places like the car wash. The weather hasn’t been very cooperative for the dog park yet this year. But if I go to get something out of the back of the car Maggie jumps in and doesn’t want to come out again. And when we’re in the car she will rest her head against my shoulder. So I’m going to try to focus on getting her out into the world and expand her experiences. Dog training class starts tonight! I really hope that she has a good time. I don’t care if she learns anything, I just want her to have a positive experience. She walks nicely on leash, so sometimes we go to Petsmart and just wander around for a little bit. I have a list of stores that are supposed to be dog friendly, but I’ve always been afraid that someone is pulling my leg and we will get kicked out.

The groomer also said that she’s not completely indifferent to me. She said that she looked for me when I left her. And she does generally follow me around the house - at a safe distance. I’m working on not being needy. It’s hard for me. I think the more she plays hard to get the more I want to try to get her. It’s counterintuitive to me to give her space.

I admit there are times when it’s really hard. Those dark moments when it feels like all of the work and none of the reward. And there is a fleeting moment when I want to give up. But I refuse to be just one more person who has let this sweet girl down. I just saw a facebook post from my dog trainer today saying that his rescue is just starting to play with toys after 13 months. She stops when anyone tries to play with her, and she won’t do it if anyone is watching, but they are still seeing her grow. Maggie is a work in progress. I don’t know where we’ll end up. But I do know that 9 weeks isn’t long enough to make an assessment on her future. I still wish I had a crystal ball to see what the future holds. Maggie’s my girl. I just hope that I’m doing the best things for her. She’s a good girl. She deserves a good life.

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  • I am so glad Maggie found you.  Just keep on keeping on.  She is still looking for security.  Not all dogs are cuddlers, Tigger is definitely not, Roo was a total people dog like your Katie.  Murphy is going to be six months old soon.  She is definitely bonded to my husband and I, but not particularly a cuddler, although she is definitely a people dog, she is also a dog dog.  So my guess is she will end up on the cuddle scale somewhere between Roo and Tigger.  As you said Maggie is your girl and she will have a good life with you and you will come to appreciate her for her "Maggieness".  Thanks for giving a good girl a forever home.

  • Stacy, this makes my heart happy. We are having our struggles with our newest rescue

    boy and have private training sessions set up beginning next month. Luckily for him, and for us!!, snuggling is his strong suit. 

  • Nancy - the class went really well! She was very focused on me. And we got compliments on how nicely she walks with me. And no one laughed when we struggled with sit. And the good news is that I think we have the beginning of sit happening. And I think she's really proud of herself. The first couple of times she looked like I was beating her, and all I was doing was putting my hand behind her legs to encourage her knees to bend. But now she's almost doing it by herself, and with her head up. It's hard because she's not super food motivated. And in the class I couldn't get her to take treats at all. Even nuked hot dog bits. So she just gets lots of praise. And today we had a nice snuggle session. I think we really are figuring one another out.

  • Glad to hear the update. Rome wasn’t built in a day, just shoulder leans and looking for you when you leave are two good building blocks. Keep the faith. She is lucky to have found you! 

  • It sounds like you are doing all the right things and I think over time it will get better. I don't know the back story on Maggie, but if she has been let down before, I am sure it will take time for her to trust you completely. Sounds like the car rides may be her thing and resting her head on your shoulder is her thanks to you. Seems like a wonderful place to start. 

  • Looking for you when you left her at the groomer's is GREAT!  I will be very excited to hear about your classes.

  • I am so happy she has her forever home with you, I really believe in time things will get better. Sounds like she has really been let down before.

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