Dear Stormy,

How can I help my 2-year-old golden retriever get along with her older “siblings”? She doesn’t want to share her people or places with them and growls very meanly at the other dogs — and even at her people if she doesn’t want to be petted!

Thank you, Teri (person) and Sammie (golden retriever)

Dear Teri and Sammie,

Something is not right with Sammie. Either she is in pain or she does not realize that learning about the world is enjoyable. Make sure you never jerk on her collar or scold her when she is learning. This can be a big mistake and create a mind that is confused when others are near. The best way to get along with everyone is to focus on the parts of the relationship that are fun. When you see Sammie being nice and playful, praise her.

Laura Stinchfield

I would like you take her to a holistic doctor who can access whether she is in pain or not. The best way for you to know is to run your hands over her body and watch her facial expressions. If you find areas where Sammie stares at you and closes her mouth or stares off in another direction, those are points of pain. She could also start fooling around when you hit a pain spot or she could growl.

Have you been stimulating her mind enough with mind exercises? If you don’t do positive training, then Sammie’s mind can become unpleasant because it does not have any direction to think. Events and words do not connect within her. This creates frustration, and frustration can lead to aggression.

Is Sammie getting enough exercise? When I was that young I needed an hour in the morning and an hour at night. That made me focused and happy.

Is Sammie eating a good diet? If she is on poor-quality food with lots of sugar and grains it could make her cranky.

I know you love Sammie, and that is a real positive. You have been chosen to be her teacher. Now is the time to have fun with your dog and teach her to be happy and enjoy others’ company.

I have to say something to all those people who are going to see their families on the holidays. When your family starts to annoy you, and you remember all the yucky stuff growing up, stop and look around and realize you have family present. This is a good thing because it shows love. If your family is mean to you, that is very sad, and I am sorry. Maybe their family was mean to them when they were growing up. If you feel like you need to stick up for yourself, go ahead and do it; just don’t expect them to change. If you feel like you want to leave, know there is nothing wrong with leaving. If you feel like having a good time, put all the other stuff aside, smile, and have a good time.

It’s Thanksgiving, and we should all be thankful for others in life. We can choose to be in love, or we can choose to be in anger. I choose love cause it feels better. Love yourself and love others. It’s the only way.

Also know it is never too late to make new friends. Go out and enjoy others!

With love and respect, Stormy

Stormy, aka Storm King, is a 14½-year-old Australian shepherd. His person is Laura Stinchfield, the pet psychic of

If you are a fan of Stormy’s and would like to hear his advice on life in general, your life, or your pet’s life, please email questions to with “Dear Stormy” in the subject line.

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