Tuesday, September 3

The Way to Make a Trainer's Day!

A week ago my day was off to a less than perfect start, bad traffic, lack of sleep, and generally not in a great mood.  Before heading into an appointment, I stopped and checked my email.  I am so glad I did.  I found in my inbox an update on one of my favorite clients (both human and dog) that not only made my day, but my whole week (maybe longer, we will see). 

I have been working with these clients since the beginning of this year and considering the severity of the human and dog aggression this dog had, that isn't very long.  But they were superstars and did what even I didn't think was possible. 

The dog, this beautiful black lab, had fear based aggression toward humans and dogs, as well, due to his fear he was pulling awfully and was not a pleasure to take new places.  Additionally, due to his breed, everyone thought he would be friendly, which proved to be very trying for his owner.

When we first started working together, my expectations were low.  Especially since during the 2nd training he still was offering to bite me.  But then something changed by the 3rd session.  The training started to kick in and he let go.  For his owner, she felt empowered.

We continued to work week after week, seeing steady progress in our behavior modification.  Then the dog came into a group class and did fantastic.  Then came multiple Pooch Parades.  Each time I saw him, the progress was astounding.

I have not worked privately with the pair for months now.  All communication is through email and phone or at my Pooch Parades.  I had just seen them at my last Pooch Parade and the dog was amazing!  Things I was certain he would react to he did not.  I didn't think I could be more proud... I was wrong.

A week ago this client wrote me an update email on her dog, the email's subject was Success!  She explained that her sister and baby niece came to visit.  She thought about putting her dog in boarding, but something told her to try.  So she introduced her dog to her sister and niece.  It took about an hour for him to calm down and accept her sister, but he loved her niece from the moment they meant!  She also explained that they took him everywhere and he was a perfect gentlemen.  She included pictures of her amazing dog and niece, side by side.  This all brought tears to my eyes!

To think that a dog that couldn't accept a strangers touch or accept a stranger in his home was able after just an hour to be responsive and calm.  A dog that was frightened of children and new areas, now able to play and enjoy a baby and go all over L.A. site seeing!  To say I am proud does not do it justice.  I am so happy for these two because they worked so hard.  Not just the human, not just the dog... together they worked as a team.

I said at the beginning of my blog that they were two of my favorite clients and they are, but what makes them two of my favorites is their dedication to this process and the phenomenal relationship they have.

I didn't use names or pictures in this blog, but you know who you are!  Thank you!