Tale of Tails: Maggie & the Kryptonite

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Maggie May

Maggie May

As you may have read in our Tale of Tails: Maggie series, we adopted Maggie last June and soon discovered she was a VERY fearful dog. Maggie had been a breeder farm mom and was turned in to the rescue when she became to old to breed. She was particularly fearful of Steve and limited her movement in the house between her bed in the living room and her bed in mom’s office. Those were the safe havens – we tried a crate, but she hated it.

We’ve worked with her over the months building up her self-confidence, showing her that life here at Casa de SlimDoggy is pretty fine.  Overall,  her recovery has been inspiring to watch. Just as SlimDoggy Jack inspired us to build our App, Maggie inspires us to…well we haven’t thought of an App yet, but it’s really a pleasure to see her so happy and just being a dog.

One of the funniest and most dramatic changes occurs every day around dinner time. Maggie starts to become bolder and bolder as the dinner hour approaches.  After dinner, the dogs usually have a treat of a carrot and maybe a game of find the food and a session of training – so it tends to be a bit of a food feast for a few hours. (All well proportioned and factored into their overall daily feeding goals that we calculate on the App).

During this time every day, Maggie is fearless. It’s like the kryptonite that is hiding around every corner in the house at other times of the day is completely gone and Maggie has “super powers”.  Super Maggie!  She’s up and about, in the kitchen – even on the ‘inside’ of the island, in the bathroom – following Steve around wherever he goes hoping for a game of find the food, or a little sit/down/stay practice and a few extra pieces of kibble.

It’s a pretty amazing transformation and as time goes on her boldness is refreshing! Yesterday as I offered her a carrot she took it and when I didn’t immediately let go she tugged it and wouldn’t let go! Amazing for a dog who wouldn’t even eat the first few days we got her.

Maggie, just chillin in her front yard.

Maggie, chillin’ in her front yard.

Now we just have to be careful that our leniency due to her fearfulness doesn’t turn her into a Primadonna! I’m beginning to notice a bit of a stubborn streak in her – and  it is great to see the self-confidence behind it, but I know I still have to be firm with her. For now, Maggie is one very happy pup and we’re happy to have played a role in improving her quality of life! (PS. her big brother, Jack has played a big role in her transformation – I’ll write about that soon!)

Any of you have an inspiring story of a behavior turnaround with one of your pups? Share it with our readers.


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  1. Great story! Terrific to learn how Maggie is gaining self confidence.
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…New Dog Mom Jewelry at For Love of a DogMy Profile

  2. I think that last photo really shows how far she has come….she looks totally at ease on her back like that. What a great thing you have done giving her a happy home!
    Jan K recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Waiting 2My Profile

    • Oddly, she has always slept on her back like that, weird for a dog so fearful. But now she will go outside ON HER OWN and lie in the grass and relax, she never used to do anything without prompting.

  3. What an inspiring story….of patience! Delightful

    • Thanks – it’s been worth it, she’s a real doll, although getting more stubborn everyday! Gotta nip that in the bud.

  4. Oh, that’s so great that she’s come so far! Rita had a lot of fears when we got her (she grew up on the ‘mean streets’ of Baja, Mexico) and she’s also getting a lot better. But she didn’t have as far to come as Maggie. She still has some issues that we are working on. It’s a slow process!
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: The Almost-Perfect DoormatMy Profile

    • It is – two steps forward, three steps back sometimes.

  5. Awwww, sweet Maggie. She’s a very lucky dog!
    Sage recently posted…The Case of the Missing CatMy Profile

  6. That is wonderful. I was smiling all the way through reading that post to hear how fearless she can be now. Sounds like you have really changed her life 🙂
    Laurie recently posted…Secrets to Dog Training ReviewMy Profile

    • I hope so.

  7. Great story. My dog Lilah, a rescue, came to us a nervous and skittish pup. I worked with her–and continue to do so–and the results are truly wonderful. She went from scared, easily startled and shy to friendly, welcoming and very happy. I tell her story on one of my blogs (Complete with Dogs…and Cats) in a post entitledLilah Becoming Brave.

    • Just read Lilah’s story. Really nice post and great work you’ve done with her.

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