@Background Pony #895B
It’s apparent that Dash suffered from extreme separation anxiety. To be separated from her turtle felt like death to her. If this theme had been properly explored, then maybe I would have felt more sad than angry. Of course, that wouldn’t excuse Dash in any way; it would simply suggest that her intentions are better than some of her actions. (Still, it would have been nice if the episode had ended with someone arresting Dash, with her embarrassed in front of her friends.)
One saving grace is a much later episode – where Daring Do learns that she needs to clean up after her collateral damage – even if it wasn’t her fault. This suggests that Dash eventually recognized she was a terrible friend for her own reckless misconduct.
That having been said, what truly won my affection for Dash was her friendship with Quibble Pants. She did what she could to make a weak earth pony feel awesome. By Season 9, Rainbow Dash clearly has a big heart for those who are much weaker than her. Some of Fluttershy’s kindness has made its way into her, just as some of her bravery has rubbed off onto Fluttershy.