17 February 2013


The passing of Lakota Sunrise was the end of an era. The best era of my life so far to be sure. But, now there is Molly Montana and a new chapter begins. This blog will be turning into a journal chronicling Molly Montana and our life together. From a puppy to wherever and whatever life leads us.  Oh, I won't be able not to throw in a rant every now and again but this blog will mostly be stories about Molly Montana and the roads and trails we travel together.

I'm finding that I can't remember a lot of things about Koty's puppy days it was so long ago, either that or I've got early onset. I can't recall things like crate training and house training. My memory is that Koty didn't require any of that which I doubt is correct.

First let me just say, egads, I also forgot what a life changer having a puppy is.  She will require house training as well as crate training. Molly is a blank slate and the responsibility of raising her properly weighs. If a dog doesn't turn out right it isn't the dog's fault ninety-nine percent of the time.

It's hard to imagine but Molly has only been here four days and five nights. It's seems a lot longer. Especially, the nights. I've set up Koty's crate in the bedroom and Molly is barely a fly speck in the thing. Too big a crate is not productive for training as puppies are loathe to sleep in their own excrement. If the crate is too big the puppy can just move to the back to do it's thing and have room left with clean bedding. Molly certainly agrees with that theory.

The first night Molly went right in the crate. Once I closed the gate. She started howling and never stopped until I let her out the next morning. I am not a person that does well without at least eight hours of sleep. I hadn't slept Friday night because of the impending trip to Three Forks. Saturday night was spent in a strange place, no sleep there. Sunday night I spent with a howling banshee in my bedroom, no sleep there. I was wandering around in a fog. Have you ever been so tired you couldn't sleep? That's where I was. I tried taking my usual naps and nothing.

Koty's crate clearly needed a partition and I didn't get it in the crate until Tuesday. I cut a piece of plywood to size, drilled holes in the top corners and lashed it to the side of the crate. I used those zip tie things. I stuffed pillows behind the board to keep it stable. It worked like a charm as far as the soiling was concerned but the howling continued unabated. I read an internet article on crate training that suggested one salt the crate with treats and sure enough Molly went right in for those treats and she howled her head off as soon as the gate closed. Mama Mia that girl has lungs!

One thing is apparent, Molly and I had one thing in in common, we are food motivated. As far as I can tell Molly has never meet a treat she didn't like, me either! I began to think Molly was playing for treats. She wasn't focusing on the message.

I started looking for a new strategy and found it. This one played to her mind and emotion instead of her tummy. It made a lot of sense to me. I decided to give it a go. I put Molly in the crate and myself to bed. She immediately started whining. I let her go on for a few minutes. Then I told her "Enough!". When she kept on I got up and left the room soundly closing the door. I went to the living room couch and waited for her to stop.  When she did I slipped back into my bed. No sooner did my head meet the pillow than Molly began flexing her vocal chords. This went on half the night and finally I got up from the bed, and with no thought to puppy training experts who say use a stern voice, I simply said as sincerely as I knew how "Molly, I'm leaving this room and if I do I'm not coming back".  She immediately stopped. I slipped back into bed and we both slept until it was time to let her out. Crazy as it may sound that is exactly what happened.

Uh Oh! Busted!

©Kinsey Barnard

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