I started this blog because I wanted to share my journey with dogs with others. I am a firm believer that our dogs bring us on a journey of some kind. My dog Gerber took me on a journey of learning what it was like to live with a dog who displayed aggressive behavior. He also took me on a journey of learning about how to modify and manage behavior in dogs, which has ultimately become the area I specialize in today. He was also a big part of how I made many of my friends and met many of my colleagues.
My current dog Journey, has taken me on a very different journey. He has introduced me to the world of dog sports, which has taught me so much about dogs, their drives and motivations and the purpose of why specific breeds where bred. Getting involved in dog sport is also how I have made many new friends and have met many new colleagues. It has allowed me to meet so many new people and see so many new places that I never had the chance to before.
I have learned that our dogs take us on many other journey’s that we don’t always think about. The experiences we have with our dogs can really effect our lives in small and large ways, whether that be once in a while or on a daily or weekly basis. Today I had the opportunity to have a zoom call with a colleague of mine who I had never met before other than chatting through facebook messenger about cases she refers to me.
I saw a Facebook post of hers last night about the struggles she was having with her own dog. A beautiful looking Coonhound. The post expressed her sadness, frustration, discouragement and stress about some of her dog’s medical and behavioral issues. Having been down this road with my dog Journey and his diagnosis of having a very rare condition called Tethered Cord Syndrome, I could relate to this emotional roller coaster. I reached out offering up time to talk and discuss her dog’s case.
We had a wonderful conversation about all the things she has tried and some of the things she can look into in order to try to move forward. At the end of the call we chatted for a while, getting to know each other a little bit. We started discussing how sometimes we just need to do what we need to do for our dogs, and not worry so much about hurting someone else’s feelings in the process. She actually said “I realized you just gave me permission to do what is right for my dog. This has helped me realize I need to continue to advocate for her.”
As we continued to chat we exchanged stories of how our current and past dogs have effected our lives, where those dogs brought each of us and how we got to where we are today because of our dogs. In fact, our dogs and the journey’s they have brought us on were ultimately the reason that we met and have formed a friendship. Dogs can be our teachers in so many ways, but they can be so much more than that.
Some dogs might bring people together because of a behavior issue that the family might try to resolve. While other dogs might bring people together because of a health related issue that needs to be cared for. The list goes on and on. These dogs that bring us on a journey might bring a couple closer together, maybe even the whole family; while others might be the reason connections, relationships and friendships are formed. Our dogs become ice breakers and topics of discussion that lead us to creating new friendships, life experiences and life changes- they bring us on a journey and in many respects, they also bring us together!