Saying Goodbye To A Dog Is Never Easy.
On May 19, 2015 my very best friend, Apollo, left this world quite suddenly and unexpectedly. He had a common threat to the Doberman breed – Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – and it killed him.
He was just shy of his 3rd birthday (May 30th).
I Achieved A Lot With Apollo As A Dog Owner And A Dog Trainer.
Before Apollo died, we were still working on some of his issues. He had serious reactivity toward other dogs but was making real progress. In fact, before he got really sick, he was becoming quite social. He still had issues with dogs near the house, but that was something I was planning on working on with him in the warmer weather.
Saying goodbye to a dog is never easy and I had never felt the loss of a pet as deeply as I did this one. I think, in part, it’s because I still had so many more plans for him – for us. Apollo was a special dog.
Apollo Made Me A Better Person And Trainer.
Working with Apollo taught me a lot about myself. He was courageous, confident, and challenged me every day. His behaviour issues and anxiety could be frustrating but I am grateful for the dog he was. Having him in my life helped me to get clear on who I wanted to be and what direction I wanted my life – and career – to go in.
Apollo inspired me to develop a great work ethic.
Apollo wasn’t a dog who was content with laying around on the couch all day. Always ready to work and train, he needed to be engaged and active. His energy, drive and spirit encouraged me to get up and get moving every day.
Working with an anxious dog challenged me as a dog trainer.
Apollo had an issue with anxiety. It was something I dealt with and managed every day. It was challenging but, in the end, made me a better dog trainer with a much deeper understanding of dog behaviour and psychology. Anxious dogs need a lot of extra support to help them feel secure and confident. To meet Apollo’s needs, I have to learn new training techniques. For example, it was during my time with Apollo that I learned to incorporate higher corrections for smaller mistakes to help interrupt a dog’s anxious mind. I still use this and other techniques I developed while training Apollo with my clients today
Working With Apollo Changed Me Personally And Professionally.
Working and sharing my life with Apollo made me a better person and a better dog trainer. His behaviour challenged me and motivated me to learn and develop my skills. The success I had with Apollo showed me that I was more capable than I gave myself credit for. Our time together gave me the confidence to take my passion for dogs and dog training and turn it into a professional career. He inspired me to understand and work with dogs in a new way. Training Apollo laid the groundwork for the methods of training I still use today. So, thank you, Apollo. I will always be grateful for the memories, the aggravation, and the learning.
RIP my friend