My apparent breed specialties.
This holiday week mixed up my walk schedule, so it was the first time Gwen and Ani went out together, and my most ambitious hike yet. It was a seemingly innocuous 5-dog hike. But it was a 5-dog hike with dogs who are not easy, and they were all obeying commands and not causing drama. I have a mantra that “the first time you try to do anything new (with dogs), it’s going to be a mess.” Today was a lot of work, but there were only brief moments of mess, and they resolved easily. We must have done a hundred recalls and fifty group sits on this one hike… Gwen was snoring on the ride home.
Even though I was the only human in our pack today, I definitely was not the only person who helped make this magical hike happen. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the other people who have helped me so much over these years to build this special skill set, and with these special dogs.
From Diego who helped me with many of my first group hikes, to Tom and the other trainers who have taught me so much about dog behavior and body language, to Kim who played backup on her two knuckleheads’ first group outings, to my former employers and managers who gave me a chance to learn and get my feet wet, and to all my wonderful clients (past and present) who trust me with their animals, to care for them and also to run mini behavioral experiments. :) I have some form of appreciation for the part every individual, dog or human, has played in my education and development in this field. Here’s to more learning and more development! And many more ambitious hikes!