A Twice Told Tale: Empathetic Perspective


I sat down with my mom and asked her to think of a story that she felt strongly about that also involved someone else. Immediately she thought of her puppy in training. While this was a very tough, and sometimes daunting process, puppy training seems to be much more difficult in the wintertime, on both the owner and the puppy. Anyone who has ever house broken or trained a new puppy, can empathize with the feelings of my mother, but have you thought about that precious pup’s perspective?

The Story From My Mother’s Perspective

It was a morning unlike any other. I woke up, got dressed and ready for work. Once all of that was done, I would go in and let Myrtie out of her cage so she could head to the office and complete the day’s errands with me “Good morning, Myrtie! Let’s get you out of this crowded, old kennel and let you go potty so we can head to the office!” She jumped up and down, excited to see me, and bolted toward the door. “Here you go Myrtie, go outside!” She trickled down the steps and out to the yard as I watched her from the porch.

A few minutes pass…

“Myrtie, come on girl! It’s time to go. Mmmyrrrttieeee!! Good girl! Let’s go! I prompted her to come back to the porch as she played around in the yard. I offered her a treat and continued to call, as she continued to run around and play.

A few more minutes pass…

“Ugh… Myrtie, come ON!!! It’s freezing out here. We are going to be late. Let’s goooo!!!! It’s time to go. Myrtie, get over here! NOW!!!”

A few more minutes pass… (And by the way, it’s four degrees out and snowing!)

 “Myrtie, get over here. I’m tired of chasing you. Now! Now Myrtie! Put that stick down! Ugh! Alright I’m going to leave you. You’ve had your chance.”   Finally, I started to get my things, shook my keys, and got into the car thinking that would get her to come.

At first, I was trying to be understanding because she is just a puppy, but when she’s running around, playing with sticks, checking out the neighbors dogs, etc. my tolerance level started dropping as did my body temperature the longer I stood out in the snow. It was cold, we were late, and Myrtie was having no part of going to work with me, or going inside. I tried to chase her a couple times but she was too fast. She just escaped my arm’s reach every time. It was cute at first, but I found myself more and more frustrated. Finally, after much prompting, and bribing, Myrtie was ready to go, twenty minutes later, on that bitter cold winter day.

Myrtie’s Side of the Story

Whew! Finally I’m my human mommy let me out of that kennel. Hmm, wonder what we are doing today? So happy to see you mommy! Pay attention to me! Pick me up. Pick me up please! Go outside? Yes! Let’s go outside. I’ve got so much energy. Go potty? Nah, it’s time to play! Ooooo look a stick! Come play with me. Why does mom keep yelling at me to come in? This is awesome. I’m so excited to play! Look at me mom, playing in the snow. Come on! Why are you just standing there watching me? Treat? Treats are for later, come on. I just want to run and be free! Oh look, here she comes. Mom wants to play too! Come and get me. You think you can catch me? No way! I’ve got four legs and you’ve only got two! Whew! You almost got me there. I just barely squeaked by. Are you getting tired momma? You can’t catch me. Oh wow, you don’t look like you want to play anymore. What? Why are you going back to the porch? I thought we were playing and having fun? Hmm. Just a little bit longer. What? Is it time to go? Are you leaving me? I don’t want to get in the car. You don’t look very happy. You’re voice is getting deeper and louder. Are you mad that you couldn’t catch me? Maybe I should jump in the car. I hate riding in cars, especially when I can’t see out the window. I don’t want to go. The office is boring. There’s no sticks, and no toys. Plus, all these weird people just want to pick me up. Eh, okay momma. Help me up into the car. Let’s go….



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