A dogs trust in YOU is a powerful thing, but it’s also a HUGE responsibility. I had plenty of time to ponder this as we waited for Hurricane Matthew to rip through our state…


It made me question and wonder if, why and how much do my Boys trust me…


…and would they trust me “enough” during this storm to keep them safe.

As we scuffled around busy with hurricane preparations I carefully studied their behavior. Research has shown the changes in barometric pressure work like an advanced signal to dogs that the weather pattern is changing.

I would love to tell you, as Matthew grew closer to our area both Harley and Jaxson started to act differently, but they didn’t.

Not that this proves decades of research incorrect, they just didn’t react as text books indicated.

Doodle Dad and I discussed, assessed, and decided there was no reason to vacate our home, but the Boys weren’t privy to our conversation – they had no idea what was about to happen.

So when the rain began to pound against the windows and the wind howled like wolves in the night, I watched their behavior.

They –

  • played
  • slept
  • were calm
  • were cool
  • were happy

Their world was uninterrupted.Were they not “fretful” because we were with them?

When it comes to dogs there’s a thing called –


A pup will usually blindly trust a human who provides food, warmth and love. Source: Canine Chat

Do keep in mind that same trust can change based on your dog’s perception of you and their environment. Trust can be undermined when we humans behave in a threatening manner, demand or expect behavior that is unrealistic for the dog’s skill level or experience or is just plain confusing for the dog.

When I read that, I couldn’t help but remember years ago when I tried to force Harley as a puppy to ride in the back of one of those baby carriages designed for dogs. He didn’t like it but I was determined to “make” him enjoy it. #Iwassowrong


He rode in it anyway. Why? Because he trusted me…


But that didn’t make it right. #notonanylevel


It’s questionable whether temperament evaluations are always correct.

A dog may be evaluated as shy, standoffish or unaffectionate when it possibly just does not trust a family member. If a dog has been abused or isolated the dog may present one or more behaviors under the umbrella of distrust until someone chooses to take the time to prove to the dog they can be trusted. Source: Canine Chat

Leo loved everyone in the world except my sister. #cantmakethisup

He ran from her, growled at her, and would reside in the opposite side of the house every-Doodle-time she came to visit…


It was so out of character for him that I asked Doodle Doc why this was happening. My sister has dogs, I didn’t understand.

Leo’s temperament evaluation as a puppy revealed he was shy initially when it came to meeting new humans. Within a few hours, he became comfy and had no problems hanging out in the room with everyone. Not true for my sister.

Doodle Doc told me dogs, like people – have unique pawsonalities. Leo (for reasons we would never understand) did not like my sister. #endofstory

I finally asked her to stop trying to befriend him. They were able to co-exist for the remainder of Leo’s life – on opposite sides of the room.


Pet parenting can be challenging because there is so much interpretation required.

One of the many great gifts dogs bring to our lives due to thousands of years of living with humans is their ability and in most cases desire to trust us, forgive us and give us chances to get it right. Once trust is earned and maintained,  a dog will reward his or her person with what pet parents crave from the furry family member, unconditional love. Source: Canine Chat

Thank the Doodle Harley forgave me for the carriage ride nightmare. I had no idea.

If love is an indicator for my Boys to trust me, then I think they do for I love them with all my heart and soul.


then I implore you to take a few minutes and check out 10 Interactions That Can Undermine A Dog’s Trust In A Family Member


Make this a Doodletastic Day – Be kind to a total stranger ❤️

GOLDEN hugs & DOODLE kisses for your prayers during the storm


  • Emma
    October 10, 2016

    In general and in most situations, we do trust Mom, but sometimes fear is too great and we feel better just being in our favorite safe place. I can see why Harley wasn’t thrilled with the bike trailer. It seems a bit cramped in there if he isn’t lying down, but I guess, at least he tried it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 10, 2016

      Your thought process makes PAWfect sense to me! Harley only rode in the carriage once! I am happy I had enough sense them to not “force” a second ride. We sold it to the lady down the street. #lessonlearned

  • Jan K
    October 10, 2016

    I think Emma is right too, sometimes fear can override trust. That’s certainly the case with Luke and strangers. But we were new to having a fearful dog, and might have pushed him too much early on, and maybe that did break the trust a bit. Now he knows we won’t push him to meet strangers, and I hope that helps him in the long run.
    For the longest time our beagle Cricket did not like my brother-in-law; she would bark at him every time he came to the house. He has beagles of his own, so we never understood. She was fearful of other men too, but never had reason to be; she was with us from a puppy so nothing ever happened. She does like my BIL now, and she will still occasionally bark at strangers but she settles right down. Now if we can just get Luke to do the same!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 10, 2016

      I know how you feel, I’ve often wondered if having Leo from the very beginning vs. getting him at 6 months old would have made a difference. Sadly, I will never know 🙁

  • Dashlilly
    October 11, 2016

    Lilly is the one to let me know when she is overcome with fear… and she just can’t do what is asked of her. When another dog comes into the house or we visit my sister’s house and there are dogs there that she doesn’t know… she heads up the stairs and finds an empty bed to jump up on. And that’s fine with me! She is taking care of herself.. many times I would like to go upstairs and skip the gathering!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 15, 2016

      I am all for Lilly’s method. Too often dogs aren’t given the opportunity to do what is right for them. Too often humans (although their intentions are good) think their interpretation is correct and they know what’s right for the dog. Lily is certainly blessed to have a doodle mom like you – someone who trusts her instincts!

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