• Kelly L

    May 22, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Thanks everyone. Great feedback from all. Sorry it took so long to respond. I lost my password like 6 times and making a new one is like trying to crack the code for the cia haha.
    I myself in the past have been guilty of this, treating one of my dogs like a little human. It was the worst and best mistake I’ve ever made. The particular dog is still with me at the moment and has become one of my greatest accomplishments. Our bond is so tight I have no words to describe. I did everything so wrong with him. I felt sorry for him, for the breed he was, for the disgusting abuse he went through as a little pup. I allowed him to do anything and I babied him to the point of him lunging at my then 9 year old son. If it wasn’t for my reaction time, I do not want to think of what would of happened to my son. I still made excuses as to why he did this. I was a behaviorist a trainer I had the answers! My brain was flooded with emotions for this dog, I couldn’t think clearly and believe me I had every excuse for him. Then, I met Mike. When I told him what he had done, Mike told me to consider putting him down. He was dangerous. The emotional side of me disliked Mike for a few days. The rational behaviorist side knew he was being honest and basically telling me, I’ve destroyed my dog. I cried for 3 days like a wimp. I did all the wrong things for 3 days. I hugged my dog, I cried on him. I held on to him for dear life, I made the call and the appointment to put him down. I honestly thought I was going to have a nervous break down. The 3rd night, the night before the dreaded appointment as I layed in my bed hugging this dangerous, aggressive massive dog, reality set it. I was told that I literally loved this dog to his death. I did! And I still do! I thought of my kids , if one of my kids were to slap me or tell me to F off , the consequences would be pretty damn high! So why was I not loving this dog enough to teach him respect and boundaries? I felt bad, he was tossed in a fire at 7 weeks old and his paw pads were burned so badly they were raw meat. I felt bad no one loved him as a pup and he was taken from his mom and siblings. I couldn’t get passed it. My heart hurt for him. I thought in some twisted way a mom thinks with there human child , to nurture this dog and give him what I thought he longed for, which was constant love and affection. The thought of never seeing him again laying in my bed that night, over took me. I almost couldn’t breathe. I had to figure out a way to make it right. I had to work through my own emotions. It was 4:11 am, I remember looking at the clock. I finally came to terms with my own emotions and the reasons why I abused this dog emotionally. ( yes I say abuse) because quite frankly that is what I did. I finally released myself of the reasons why and I sat up and looked at him and said “off” he looked at me like what? I said it again, “off”. He slowly got up and jumped off looking at me confused like what the hell is going on? I went to sleep. I woke up. Called and cancelled my appointment for his demise. I then called work and said I needed a leave of absence. Yes , I collected unemployment for 6 months to work day and night on this dog that I destroyed. I owed him that. I owed him the chance to be the dog I knew he could of been if I didn’t emotionally destroy him , all because of my own emotionally baggage I carried from when I was young. We worked hard every
    Day. He became an agility champion, his commands were solid, he was happy, my female alpha helped me everyday, allowing her to teach him proper dog to dog skills. I was exhausted and some days I wanted to give up. I didn’t quit, 4 years later I have an amazing ambassador American Staffy. Who respects me and my kids and loves everyone. Whom I trust fully with my life . He saved my life one day last year and that was his thank you to me.
    Moral of the story is, we are all human, no matter our education or our training philosophy or our knowledge. Emotions are raw, if we don’t have our own emotions in check, we can not be the trainer or behaviorist we wish to be. It all comes down to what our energy is. Dogs can read us like a book. They know. Pretend to not be afraid and they know u are. You can’t fool a dog. Unless you are Mike with a wig!! Hahaha. I never said thank you to you Mike. So this is my thank you! The reality check you gave me, is why Tye is still here. And why I stepped up my game as a behaviorist and trainer. You my friend have my ut most respect and I only wish to have all of your knowledge some day. It’s a privilege to know you. I trust fully every word you speak. Which is huge for the 5’2 little chic that trusts no one except the dogs in my house haha
    So yes I believe in what i wrote in that article and I train by that, but we all trip up at times. If you ever trip up , come back here and read this.
    Thank you all for commenting and sharing. I love this group