Molly is a good example of how well a new dog can work out in a young family. There’s evidence that dogs bring many benefits to children, including protecting them against some allergies and teaching them about body language, so that they grow up feeling more self confident and socially self-assured around humans, as well as around dogs. Of course, not all children can have dogs: they don’t suit every situation. But when it can be done, a dog provides a wonderful long term companion for a growing young person.
When Nora was younger, she had been knocked down by a big, enthusiastic, friendly dog, and she was left feeling anxious whenever she saw a dog. Her parents wanted to tackle this, so the idea of a small, gentle dog as a pet seemed the perfect answer. They had considered getting a rescue dog, but they wanted to meet the parents of their new arrival, (which you can’t usually do with rescues), so that they could have a clear idea about how their new puppy would be when she grew up. They spent some time searching for the ideal puppy, and when they found Molly, she ticked all the boxes. They were careful to make sure that they weren’t buying from a puppy farmer. Molly was from a family who had let their own pet have a single litter of pups, and she’d been reared in a sociable household with children all around since the start.
Nora’s friendship with Molly has successfully cured her dog anxiety: she has learned that most dogs are gentle, good-natured creatures. Nora has also learned about how to interact with dogs that she does not know: the importance of approaching them cautiously, and the need to have adults close by, in case the dog is unpredictable.
The family planned Molly’s arrival carefully when they got her two years ago: she had been born in the late spring, and they picked her up from the breeder in early July, right at the start of the summer holidays. This was ideal timing in two ways.
First, it meant for that the children were able to spend the whole summer interacting with the new puppy. They got to know her well, and she learned to see them as close friends too. They took her to puppy classes during the summer holidays. Molly was the star pupil, learning to sit, walking the lead and come when called. These are the key skills that all dogs should know, and after learning them as a pup, Molly will never forget them. This early training has made Molly a far easier pet around the home and when out on walks.
Second, it’s far to house train a pup in the summer. In the winter time, when it’s cold and wet outside, it can be difficult to persuade puppies to go outdoors to go the toilet. In the summer, pups naturally enjoy being outside, so there are less likely to be messy accidents indoors.
Molly has grown up as a friendly, playful dog. She especially loves playing with balls: she enjoys chasing footballs and sliotars. This can occasionally be annoying for the children when she disturbs a game, but for the most part, it’s fun. Molly loves chasing balls and everyone enjoys throwing the ball for her.
Small dogs like Molly often live to the age of fifteen or longer: Nora may be in her twenties when Molly reaches the end of her life. The hope is that Molly will be a good friend to Nora and Sean not just for the childhood years, but also through adolescence.
They’ll grow up as adults with strong, happy memories of Molly, their much loved dog: isn’t that the way we’d all like our children to grow up?