I love the stories that I hear from my clients. This is perhaps my favorite story. Moose, a ten month old GSD is a great combination of brains, brawn and blarney.

My wonderfully gracious and soft spoken client always looks me in the eye, with a sparkle in her own, trying very hard to convey her outrage at the latest antics. She must believe me to be the most insane of dog trainers as I laugh hysterically, wiping the tears from my eyes.

On this day Mom was trying to put on her “big white granny panties” she had one leg in when Moose stuck his head in the other leg. Startled he backed away taking the panties with him over his head. He of course thought this to be the most fun as he tore through the house. As luck would have it UPS decides to show up at which point Moose runs over to show off his new outfit much to the humiliation of his mother.

What I am so fortunate to witness on a weekly basis is a love affair between a woman and her dog. I witness the love and the loyalty as he watches his mom’s every move. He is her champion and savior and will care for her until the day he dies.

Of course she feels that his antics may be the death of her and threatens to sell him to the first person with $2.00. Then he will turn things quickly around and perform a drop and stay from 50 feet away at which point she looks at me smiling “Isn’t he so smart.”

I believe myself to be one of the most fortunate women on earth. I am able to teach such wonderful people that dogs will be dogs and we can love them for what they are. We do need to provide guidance and safety and place reasonable expectations on them. We must first teach them those expectations.

I wipe the tears of laughter from my face I stand up and say “let’s go to work.” Moose is ready to learn and I am ready to teach. All of his training has been done off leash without the use of any corrective devices. He loves to go to work, especially when I turn the tables and chase and stalk him through the bushes. This is the greatest fun and he is more than willing to do a stop and drop as he will be rewarded with more play.

Yes, Moose has mom’s panties, her rake, her prime rib (oops) from Christmas but he also has her back and her heart. I can only hope that all of us can learn to love everything about our dogs and truly have a once in a lifetime relationship with our dog.

Karen Quillen


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