Lets Enjoy the Gardening with My Dog Molly


When we adopted our wonderful dog Molly a little over a year and a half ago, the most common question was asked: “How are you going to prevent her from finishing the garden?”Molly is a mixed terrier, and everything we were told suggested that she might be a little nervous in the garden.

It was winter at that time, and since my garden was still snowed in, I had plenty of time to focus on teaching the other dog what I had to do (which was abundant) before wondering how to train them not to tear up the garden, trample and pee on the plants or dig the dirt. Still, I thought I would come back here in the spring or summer with an update or a desperate request for advice.

But fortunately for me, it didn’t work out that way. Molly, of course, went to the garden. When the garden thawed and the paths were discovered, we were surprised to find that she was clinging to it. I didn’t have to teach him that! She was (and still is) very curious about the flora and fauna that did not inhabit the garden, but she is above all gentle and careful in her explorations. We have experienced two spring seasons together and I have noticed that she sometimes imitates (main imagery-my actions in the garden. For example, if I dig, she will pass by and dig a little herself. I was worried that this would lead to more aggressive gold mining in places that I didn’t want, but fortunately, this was not the matter.

During the growing season, Molly spends a lot of time in the garden. Davin takes her early in the morning and I take her to work with me on weekdays. Sometimes she stings around, guided by the nose or an insect. Yes, she pees outside sometimes, but she stays on the trails and avoids the plants. When the weather is nice, she lies down on the mulch and relaxes in the sun. I had to teach him that part, the training that started because I had to teach him to lie down and stay calm in a range of environments. But in the end, I think it allowed her to relax better in the garden and she does it now when the weather is nice. Sometimes I catch Molly smelling flowers or licking ants, but she never hurts and even if she eats the crushed cherry tomatoes or raspberries that I offer her, I have never caught her picking produce myself.

I don’t know what to say – we are really lucky.

Like all dogs, Molly is attracted to urination on soft grass, but we don’t have any, so it’s not a problem. When we visit other people’s gardens, we always make sure that she relieves herself before entering, and we watch for signs that she has to leave in the middle of the visit. In this way we have avoided burning or damaging the laws and the gardens of friends, and therefore Molly is welcome in most places.

Of course, Molly is a terrier mix and hunting rodents is her natural propensity. I swear that one of the first words she learned is “squirrel” and she almost immediately made it her vocation and a very serious profession to keep her out of the garden. If a squirrel is reckless enough to venture into the garden when Molly is on Patrol, things can quickly get out of hand. She leaves on a tear, jumping and stomping wherever the hunt takes her, while being attentive to the plants, the location of the trails and sometimes to her own well-being in retrospect. However, she is a small puppy and has not really done any harm in these epidemics, nor has she wounds herself. Once the intruder is banned, she slows down and struts towards me, her tail and her head held high, so proud of herself on top of that and of a job well done. Fortunately, she hasn’t caught up with a squirrel yet, but given the way she can mutilate a toy, I worry about how traumatized we will all be (or at least me) if that day comes.

I don’t pretend to know much about dogs, dog behavior or training, especially when it comes to the garden, because it’s all due to Molly and luck. My “Expertise” is invested only in Molly and even there we are still learning, adapting and growing together. Molly is adopted and has had a life ahead of us that is not known. She has sensitivities that we are still learning, and I would say that most, if not all, of our experiences in training her really consisted of training ourselves. I read a few books when we first received them that helped me tremendously and gave me tips on how to help her and us. Since then, as I said, it has been a learning process and we are often surprised at how much we have all changed and grown together in the last year and a half. That’s why sometimes I feel like Molly has been with us for much, much longer and I feel so lucky to have her in my life every day.

Reading list

The other end of the leash helped me understand the impact of my behavior and attitude on my dog. That was the key, because like all rescue dogs, Molly came to us with fears and behavioral problems. Books like this gave me confidence that I could change this with patience and time, and it also helped me see where I needed to change to help him.

Molly was suffering from separation anxiety when we first brought her home. I set up a video camera as I was leaving the house to find out her reaction and I discovered that she was crying, screaming and affecting the speed of the house if she was left alone for more than a few minutes. A book on the subject by the same author gave me the help I needed, and within two weeks Molly was no longer my constant shadow and could relax if we went out without her.

Since Molly was adopted and has problems with other dogs (not with humans), I have been reading dogs to learn how to emotionally manage fear-based behaviors of not-known origin.

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