Once upon a time, an anxiety-ridden puppy named Mitchell came to live with Dog-Mom in a small village in northern Illinois. Mitchell was so timid, and frightened of Big-Evil- Scary-Dog-Mom, that he cowered in a corner for two full weeks and only came out when Big-Evil-Scary-Dog-Mom brought neighbor Lucy – the westie-bichon -frieze down the block – over to play. Mitchell loved Lucy.
Big-Evil-Scary-Dog-Mom was so mean, she invited the vet-doctor-person over to the house to examine Mitchell and prescribe some sort of medicine to help Mitchell get over the cowering. The vet-doctor-person helped leash Mitchell so that he could take walks. Once leashed, Big-Scary-Evil-Dog-Mom made Mitchell wear a leash in the house for a week, and when they finally were able to take walks…she put a second leash on him.
The first walks were scary. Mitchell would only walk half-a-block before putting on the brakes. But Dog-Mom who was neither evil nor scary anymore – just big – persisted, and eventually convinced Mitchell that they could walk the two whole blocks to that cute neighbor Lucy ‘s house whom he missed greatly.
Mitchell learned to love a new phrase…”Want to go for a walk?” He started bringing his leash to Dog-Mom who was no longer that big anymore either.
Still, Mitchell needed to learn how to ride in a car. He didn’t like it. For over a year, Dog-Mom would lift him up and plunk him down in the back seat for a ride in the car. Sometimes they would go to visit the vet-doctor-person…and Meredith, Mitchell’s favorite vet-tech. Sometimes they would go to Dairy Queen, and Dog-Mom would let him have the end of her ice-cream cone. Other times, they would go to the Little Trailer in the Big Woods where owls, and deer, and turkeys, and other strange things lived nearby.
Finally after almost a year of “rides in the car”, Mitchell connected the words with the experience, and joyfully jumped around the house making snuggly noises in total anticipation of the car-ride experience.
The Big-Evil-Scary Dog-Mom is now just Dog-Mom and is the only privileged human-type – besides Meredith the vet-tech – who is allowed to rub his ears.