Dog Training in Denver: Weekly Roundup – Episode 6
Posted on April 13th, 2018 by FetchMasters in Dog Training in Denver: Weekly Roundup
Here’s To The Dog Trainers!
I love these Weekly Roundups because they give me a chance to just come at the world in more of a free-form way – from the heart rather than from the technical aspects of dog training. They give me a forum to share with you the things that inspire me.
This week, Linda and I have had a lot of reasons to ponder two questions: What is dog training about? And why do we do it?
Is it about the dogs? Sure, we want them to have a better life. But the dogs are not the ones who call us asking for help. For the most part, the dogs are just having fun and not realizing that they are a menace.
Is it about the owners? Of course. They humbly call us seeking help. They are at their wits end and need assistance – so much so that they’re willing to pay for it. How can we not respect that?
But, while I love both dogs and people, having teachable dogs and humble owners is not what gets me out of bed in the morning.
Our dog trainers are the ones who inspire me.
They struggle with difficult dogs. Swallowing their pride when underestimated or underappreciated by a client, they simply respond by providing polite proof that they really are all they’re cracked up to be.
Dog trainers get up every morning and do it again … and again. They don’t complain, and they don’t back down when the going gets tough. Our policy is to not give up on dogs or their owners. We keep going until the job is done. Period. That is a great company policy … but, when push comes to shove, our dog trainers are the ones who give of themselves to make that policy a reality.
Most of the time their efforts pay big dividends to dogs and their owners. But sometimes the training life is emotionally tough, regardless of how you spin it.
We got news this week that a client’s dog crossed a line that probably will cost its life. The rescue the dog came from did not reveal that the dog was aggressive. And the dog never showed signs of aggression in training. But, despite safety protocols we had in place, the dog overpowered the owner and ran down the street and attacked someone. The dog attacked unprovoked, and nobody saw it coming.
We also received news that one of our cherished clients took her own life. She loved her dogs SO much that I can’t understand how she left them. Her pain must have been unbearable. We had no idea she was suffering like that. We were on vacation when it happened. We wept bitterly.
Another client who became a close friend of mine when I was struggling horribly with my sister’s untimely death informed us that she had been diagnosed with throat cancer. She was there for me. How can we be there for her? We’ll sure as heck try.
DEAR CLIENTS: You may not have known you were signing up for this, but you are not just people whose dogs we train. In many ways, you become a part of our world, a fixture in our psyche. Keven Behan wrote a book entitled: “Your Dog Is Your Mirror: The Emotional Capacity of Our Dogs and Ourselves” which explained that dogs are essentially emotional creatures. Training them well often requires connecting both with dogs and owners on an emotional level.
So, you are more to us than just a paycheck. We invest ourselves in you.
Because of their hearts, I honest-to-GOD believe that our trainers are some of the best, most salt-of-the-earth people you (or I) will ever know.
That may all sound dramatic … but it’s been a dramatic week filled with difficulties – the majority of which turned into victories. But not all of them.
I have worked with a lot of trainers in my time and, while I don’t know what has changed – maybe me? – I’ve literally never worked with a single group of people who I feel more respect for, more inspired by, or more impressed with. So much so that Linda and I are determined to build FetchMasters AROUND our trainers and FOR our trainers, not on top of them. We cannot think of anyone else we would rather move into the future with.
We want them to have every advantage, benefit and opportunity we can offer them to thank them for what they do. They deserve that.
There is so much emphasis out there on helping dogs, and not enough on thanking the people who invest so much of themselves emotionally to help them.
So … here’s to our trainers and all the skilled and caring dog trainers out there!