Even though I am use to being the last call from dog owners and use to working with the "toughest cases," I am getting called in sooner and sooner lately. Over the past few months I have even gotten to work with humans who are looking to get their first dog or who want to add another dog into their family. I go over what they want as far as energy level, look and age of dog and what fits in their home and lifestyle best. I have recently had a few boarders and fosters in my home straight from the shelter and/or rescue that were candidates and the potential adopters came and just walked the dog a few times a week, the right way from the beginning.
Most importantly they bonded on an instinctual level with trust and understanding as oppose to an emotional or empathetic level of feeling sorry for. I even allowed a car ride with the dog and human if the stars aligned that day. Then I take the dog to clients home, here and there, to have the human walk dog over there with me at first, then I stay back so it is just them, then I leave with the dog, so the dog will connect everything themselves in a positive manner, so any upcoming changes will just flow into their routine. Taking the time and breaking 3 steps into 9+ steps for the dogs, and humans, to adjust and trust to make sure it is all an amazing fit so the seed planted in the beginning is the strongest and the roots are most set in place in the right way and the dog realizes there is no difference with what they learned with me and what they are going to continue to practice to grow away from me.
There has been a few moments when I realized these owners are going to have such amazing dogs and a balanced home from the beginning, that I almost felt a hint of jealousy. Mainly because I had no one and there was no real resources available when I first got dogs, and learning the hard way was the normal. But everything happens for a reason and I am doing what I am doing because of my experiences and seeing the incredible lack of clarity in the world. It is also not about me, it is about what I can personally provide to others so the "normal" in the world can grow and grow in a positive direction and then they can become ambassadors for whatever breed of dog they have and lifestyle they live.