Why I do what I do

The trade show ended today....it has been a long week..over 100 hours of dog work and I am tired...it never ends....dog..dog ...dog...and I love it...I think I will get 4 dogs adopted from the show...I talked to thousands of people...and I will be getting even busier and busier with dog training...I have received many emails over the last 72 hours from people that I have met and one particular email makes all of my exhaustion worth it.

Hi Jeff,

I met you  Friday at the Flower show and spoke to you about my Shih Tzu who has cancer and  had bitten me in the face that day. I know that you spoke to many many people that day and the weekend, so you may well not remember me. I am kind of all over the place with this message, but I think you will understand when I finish.

About a year ago my dog was diagnosed with a rather rare form of lymphoma-tonsilar lymphoma and given 4-6 weeks to live if I did nothing. I decided to try whatever I could as she was only 5 years old and very lovable. During the process of having her treated my mom got very sick and I was at the hospital every day with her. I ended up having to pay someone to bring Sam to Tufts once a week and I was constantly juggling work, the hospital and Sam's illness. My mom died in April very unexpectedly and devastatingly for me as I had medical power of attorney. This just made me all the more determined to save Sammy. I spent over $11,000 to get Sam to the point where she is now-complete remission, but no guarantees. I don't know if I could have gone through with the treatment knowing ahead that it would eventually cost this much, but so be it. She and I have endured a lot and I have only touched the tip of the iceberg so as not to bore you with my family issues.

The point is that when I met you at the flower show, I was in an extremely depressed state. The dog that I love, who I worked so hard to save, actually bit me! My human emotions took over and I was and still am hurt by this. However, there is an old Buddhist saying that states, "When the student is ready the teacher will be provided."  For me, you were it. I know I cannot afford your fees after the amount of money that I spent last year, and your one requirement of not letting her sleep in my bed is one that I am afraid of because she chokes a lot due to her cancer spots being in the tonsils (or maybe that's my good excuse). Either way, I have read your entire web site and I have taken all of the rest of your advice and I have instituted it in my home and in two days I have already seen a huge difference. My dogs are watching me and listening to me. They are not even trying to get away with anything. It is a pleasure to regain control and to have well behaved dogs. My little Sam is confused and off-center, but in a good way. The balance of power is shifting and she is unsure of her place, but I am making her sure.

So my point is that I need to send you a huge THANK YOU because you have made a difference in my life and you need to know that. I am a middle/high school administrator and do so many things for kids that I never get thanked for. My gift is in knowing that I have helped them in some way. I always believe that some day they will realize what has been done for them and return the favor for someone else. So, the best way I can thank you is to try to help someone else some day with their dog by referring them to you.

Thank you again for your wise advice.

Sue and Sammy

Lyric says it all....take me home...

It was great meeting all of you at the RI Garden and Flower Show...

some things that really did bother me though...I spoke with a family who had their dog go to a 2 week boot camp and the dog still could not do a proper heel so the trainer told them to use a Gentle Leader...WTF I would ask for my money back..2 week and no heel..in my book it should not take more than 2 hours to teach a dog how to heel with my training methods.

another family had a trainer come into the house and work with the dog and the dog could not do a sit/stay after working with the family  2 times a week for 6 months.....what a scam...its almost embarassing to the industry and a joke...I can't believe the people that call themselves trainers...hold your head in shame and get another job...

story after story after story of people having bad training experiences on basic training issues..so much bad advice from trainers, vets, behaviorists and breeders...it is upsetting