I started training dogs seriously over 20 years ago. Today I am lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who enjoy the time they spend with their dogs and who enjoy dog training. I am also lucky enough to own and manage Telling Tails Training Center and Yellow Snow Dog Gear, both businesses relating to mans best friend.
Recently I received an email from one of my students. I don't teach many classes, but right now I am teaching a therapy dog class. The main purpose of the email was to let me know that she and her husband were not going to be in class. The body of the email, however, contained so much more.
The message eliquently talked about how much they were enjoying the class. She spoke of the many classes they had taken and how they were especially enjoying and learning form this one. She said lots of very nice things about me and her complements couldn't have come in a more timely manner.
It's been a long year with various medical issues that have kept me from teaching. In addition, the dealth of my competition obedience partner, Maggie, took me very quickly out of the dog training classroom. For a while I was all caught up in a cacoon of sorts. As I struggle a bit with getting back into the swing of things, her words reminded me why I love what I do, and they pushed me forward to continue to do it.
I'm sure everyone has had moments when people expressed appreciation for something they have done. If you have had those moments, you can certainly appreciate how wonderfully they make you feel. Not only did I feel excited to go to class but I also wanted to do my best when I got there.
While we teach our students that their positive reaction to their dogs good behaviors will help increase the likelyhood of their dogs repeating that good behavior, I was once again reminded that the principles of these teachings work in the two legged world as well. The power of a possitive thought is staggering. While for people it isn't literally a click and treat, the principle are still the same.
In dog training we teach these lessions in each and every class. We don't nearly spend enough time teaching the same lessons to people. And so I would like to say thanks to anyone who has been kind enough to share their appreciation with those that have assisted, served, consoled, befriended, given a gift, or taught you something.