I am Thankful

How quickly time passes. It seems like it was not too long ago that Hygge came into my husband’s and my life. We are so thankful for him. Not a day goes by that we are not laughing or smiling at his antics, whether that is laying on his back with legs splayed and a goofy, lips flopping back smile or when he grabs his tail and curls into a ridiculous ball that leads to him rolling around and finally flipping over with legs in what appears to be an awkward position. He has been a spark of joy in these strange and often trying times.


Don’t get me wrong, though. He is an adolescent who also acts in ways that let me know there is still training to be done. I have often heard that you get the dog you need at the time. Well then Hygge is the dog I need to help me work with highly energetic, active adolescent dogs. That only means he will make me a better trainer. And that is something for which I am thankful.


There is much to be thankful for as I take a moment to reflect on a few of them from the past year.


I am thankful for people who have plunged headfirst into the online puppy classes since March. Pawsitive Companionship puppy classes are ongoing so that puppies can start class when they are able as opposed to waiting for a class to be offered. This meant scrambling to set up Zoom and to make videos of behaviors being taught or techniques used to help puppies be comfortable with handling and grooming. My puppy clients over the past several months have taken to this format in the same way all of my previous puppy clients did when we met in person—with the goal of helping their puppies adjust to life with confidence and able to handle what life has to offer.


I am thankful for people who have chosen and will choose to put their trust and faith in me to help them train their dogs. Happiness abounds when a person and their dog communicate as one, when the dog performs the behavior the person asks of them, or when a behavior issue improves. It is heartwarming to read their emails letting me know of their successes and see their faces when their dog does what they ask. And what joy to hear that a dog who previously could not enjoy a walk without barking and pulling, is now able to walk with their person in a harmonious manner!


I am thankful for a web designer and her staff for the redesigned, updated, more personal website I now have. This website truly reflects who I am as a dog trainer and what I have to offer. Classes are now listed on the website and upcoming events, that is upcoming classes, will be posted there for those wishing to take a class with me. Check it out (https://www.pawscompanion.com) if you have a moment and let me know what you think.


I am thankful for colleagues who push the envelope and ask questions about training methods, who refer to others more knowledgeable in certain areas of training, who reach out to offer advice, and who are there to enjoy other’s successes. Memphis is lucky to have such a wonderful group of trainers. Check out this link (https://www.facebook.com/positivedogtrainersofthemidsouth/) for a list of the trainers I am thankful to know.


There is much to be thankful for as I look to 2021. While I have lost Lee Phelan’s ability to teach classes because he is now the trainer for the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County, I hope to be able to offer classes regularly. Remember to check the website for upcoming classes. The Over Reactive Rover class was ready to be beta tested when Memphis issued stay at home orders. We hope to have that up and running soon. I say we because there will be at least one other person teaching with me. With all of the conferences and seminars that went online this year, I have learned a few things that I hope to translate to classes and/or private sessions to help people with their dogs.


May you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving!