The Turkey is in the oven the Cranberry Casserole is made, I sit here and have a moment to reflect before the family all arrives. As I sit here and think about the past year I remember why I became a dog trainer. I love the dogs and I love their presence in our lives. For me they fill a space and need that nothing else can. I would like to think this is the same for every dog owner out there.
Some dogs have had a rougher start than others, some are genetically challenged, some are so agreeable and calm, while others are active and love the daily hikes and romps with the kids or their grownup friends. There are so many different dogs to choose from and even within a certain breed they can differ so much. Just like human personalities you need to find the dog with the temperament that is compatible. Maybe you are very active and want the dog to take with you on adventures, some of us want the underdog or the dog who may find it hard to find a home because of behavioral issues and we are willing to be patient and work with them to give them the best life possible, maybe you would like a companion to snuggle, even the care givers can find a dog to nurture with physical disabilities or is it the dog you want for your kids. Whatever the reason for choosing a dog choose carefully dig deep and be sure you are clear on what you want and don't fall for that cute face or extra sweet disposition if the dog is not truly what your looking for.
So as I sit here to reflect, I think of how thankful I am for wonderful people like all of you who have and care for your dogs each and every day. you love them as they love you and you are thankful to have them share your life. I am thankful for the opportunity to share my expertise with you to help improve your dogs and teach them how to have manners and be part of our lives. I am thankful for all of you who have rescued dogs and given them a second chance at a wonderful life. I am thankful for those of you who have tried to help a canine friend in any way, even if through training you were unable to make the match work.
In closing I would just like to thank all of you over the years who have been touched by the love of a dog and freely given that love back to them. Thank you to all who have taken on the challenge of training your dog to be the best it can be. Training and loving your dog is a lifetime commitment and I am thankful for you who have chosen to take this on, by giving of yourself you are able to feel the love your dog has to give back!
So today on this special day of giving thanks don't forget to hug your dog, try to find some humor if he steals the turkey (it's really your fault you weren't watching) Don't get upset when he throws up because he has such a cute look on his face that hypnotize people into droping food on the floor for him to gladly clean up, Make sure you find time to excercise him so he won't rip Aunt Sally's new skirt, Watch the kids don't get to rough with the dog and when you hear the kids all screaming your dogs name it is time for the dog to come in and take a short nap.
Keep training and keep the love flowing. Keep a smile on your face and praise your dog often. Good Dogs make your life happier and healthier!!
Suzanne, Hershey and Spike