Our Puppy Turns One!

Today, our puppy Molly, a Yellow Labrador Retriever turns one!  We got her last August when she was 8 weeks old from a breeder in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her birthday is today! This post is to celebrate her on her special day! We hope to celebrate many more birthdays with Molly!

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Molly, August of 2019. 

The family from which we got her owns both Molly’s mom and dad – both yellow labs. They also had three little girls that doted on the pups until they were retrieved by their new owners.  The breeder contacted us the other day to get our address so that his girls can send Molly (and her brothers and sisters) a birthday card! Isn’t that the sweetest?!

Molly will be treated well today, just as she is every day. But, today she’ll get a special “real bone” treat and some extra loving.  It’s been a wonderful experience for our family to have a dog – specifically, this dog, in our lives.  She adds a lively, fun dimension to our home.

She’s not perfect. I don’t believe any dog or pet is, but she is part of our family. And, with anyone (human or animal) who is part of a family, you accept them for who they are – quirks and all.  She doesn’t bark – even at other dogs on our walk or strangers who appear in large trucks to deliver packages. I LOVE the fact that she’s not a barking dog.

Is she excitable? Yes, for sure. She loves people AND other dogs. She might still jump up to greet someone or lick their leg but it is all in a friendly, non-threatening manner.  While we understand this might not be acceptable for everyone, we admire her enthusiasm. And, know that we ARE working on this.  We’ve been told and read that labradors act as a puppy would for at least the first two years of their lives! We are only halfway there, folks!

Would we want a dog that was a lump? Or, worse, afraid and shy towards all visitors? Nope, we wouldn’t want that either. For those that visit regularly (of which there have been few with the Pandemic’s restrictions),  she calms quickly and easily.  In general, though, she’s just excited to see a new face.  On her daily walks, neighbors’ dogs bark, but Molly doesn’t! She visits with most of the dogs and even takes a submissive pose with them. Other dog owners seem to like her as well.  The grandma of one of my son’s classmates travels with a treat in her pocket, just for when she sees Molly!

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Molly has her quirks and is sometimes needy – especially when my husband is out of sight or actually gone for the day. But, she has learned “place” and goes to the designated area in our kitchen regularly for praise, a treat, or just when we command her to stay out of our way when we are cooking.  She typically gets the zoomies between 9 and 9:30 at night when she is overtired and cannot seem to wind down. Occasionally, she’ll be very rambunctious and jump up on the couch in our T.V. room. She’s not allowed there but keeps on trying.

Growing up I was always afraid of dogs. A St. Bernard, owned by the family of a friend, would knock me over when I visited. The neighbor’s dog, a large black lab, would bark incessantly at us as we waited for the school bus at the end of their driveway. And, my best friend’s dog, in high school, terrified me – I had to have them secure the dog before I arrived for a sleepover because I was afraid to enter the yard. Molly might be overly excited, overly friendly, and still learning to pay attention to commands but she is not frightening like any of those dogs.  I love her, as do we all!

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Unlike having cats, which we’ve had almost our entire married life, up until about three years ago, it seems that having a dog comes with many more suggestions from friends and family. They are all well-meaning, I am sure. But, we read books based on Molly’s breed, took her to obedience school, and tried to stay consistent. There were philosophies of training we bought into and those we didn’t. Just like raising kids, you try to do your best in the way that fits your house, family, and values. Some advice we’ve heeded, and others we have not. Basically, if you own a dog and we like how it behaves, we’ll listen to you. If not, well – we probably won’t.  What’s the saying? Different strokes for different folks!  Molly is our dog. She is part of our family! We love her unconditionally, whether she’s having a day where she misbehaves (rare) or not. The love we each receive in return is immeasurable!

We are so happy Molly is our dog and we get to celebrate her birthday today!

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Happy Birthday, Molly! From, your loving family!

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