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If you've ever wondered about the cute beagle in my logo, this story is for you.

This is my very own Molly, my shadow and studio beagle. She is the most loving and most frustrating dog I have ever known.

Let me tell you her story ...

My first dog was a beagle, and I've always had a soft spot for them. After doing lots of research and showing my never-owned-a-dog husband all the descriptions of beagles as “merry little hounds," we happily set out to find a beagle for our family.

Molly was 6 months old when we met her. She had been returned to her breeder, and I laughingly call her my "discount dog." What we didn’t know, though, was that Molly had been neglected during a critical time of puppy development.Molly, at 6 months old, was a bouncy, obstreperous older puppy. I dutifully took her to puppy school where she promptly refused to learn anything. She got a participation certificate, which was generous by any standard, and the teacher agreed to work with us one-on-one.

At this point, Molly was a terror and an anarchist. She demand barked for everything. She nipped at anyone new to her who walked too close to us. She was adorable only when she slept, which wasn't much.

We came to learn A LOT about reactivity, puppy brain development, just what had happened to Molly, and who she is.

She craves work. She’s pushy. She’s fiercely loyal. Her favorite work is to guard me. The trainer who helped us out of nightmare Molly is Carlie Seelig Miller, and she once described Molly as “a full time dog.” That’s no lie.

We still do some form of positive training every day, and Molly is now a happiest-at-home middle-aged dog. Continual training helps Molly be the best worst dog in the world. She’s still an anarchist, but mostly, I know how to help her. She’s not OK sometimes, and on days when I feel the same, she is the best companion.

Her superpower is snuggling and yarn thievery. She makes up for the thieving by being the world's best nap companion.

Illustration of Molly by Chamisa Kellogg