Who Would Say Something Like THAT!!??
” Just open the door… and let her run! Someone will find her and love her… I don’t think it can be me!!”
I had that conversation with my husband multiple times throughout Skippy’s puppyhood.
Random Stranger: “Your dog is so beautiful” Me: ” you want her? You can take her… “
I tried to cope by offering her to multiple people as a “joke”…. trying to survive the overwhelm she brought into our lives…
HERE IS THE THING— I was struggling… but—
Was I really going to give her away? NO! Would I ever really let her run free? Absolutely not; I committed when I brought her into our family, to love her, raise her, and survive the ruff patches… But I am not gonna lie… it was a ruff 2 years of puppyhood and adolescence.
” Thank you! It feels so much better knowing your struggles with raising a puppy and bonding with her even though you’re a dog trainer! “
But let’s be Real— If people tell you they never have negative thoughts or even moments(or weeks) of panic feelings after bringing a puppy home or while they are in the thick of raising their puppy… it’s probably a lie.
Am I embarrassed that I said or thought these things about Skippy…
yes— but as I’ve shared this story with countless clients–
They then tell me the bigger struggles they are dealing with, their biggest fears and concerns with raising their puppy and they say
“THANK YOU! I feel better knowing that even YOU– A DOG TRAINER, struggle with raising a puppy”.
Sharing the struggles has allowed me to help more people with their puppies because they feel heard, they know I am not gonna judge them (cause look at what I was thinking!!), and I got to see the perspectives change and the relationship start to grow, and the interactions change…
Thank you Skippy for all you have taught me!
Skippy taught me a whole lot about the more difficult puppies… and she made a more empathic trainer… I get the hard… I get the tears, the “did I make a mistake here?” How do I get through this… I tried to “give her away” anytime someone said she was pretty… I am so glad she’s my best friend now… I wouldn’t have it any other way, but in the thick of puppyhood— it was ugly.
THIS ISN’T REAL LIFE–THIS IS THE MEMORIES!
Look at this video– this is what we see and think is everyone’s puppy experience! …The good, the wonderful, the memories people video and share—
Real Life Looks A Whole Lot Like This— With Memory-Making Moments Sprinkled In!
People aren’t sharing what is going on the other 95% of the time when raising the puppy…. Most of us aren’t videoing getting up a few times each night to take a puppy potty in the freezing cold or stepping in that puddle for the 13th time this week… hoping someone spilled the water…. but knowing better, the puppy waking us up at 5:30am (just like my toddlers!) and being ready to party, the jumping all over people and knocking the kids down, the mouthing… ohhhh the sharp teeth that seem to never stop chomping, We aren’t videoing the times we have to take breaks from our puppies and the defeated looks we have day after day as we just try and survive and do right by our puppy. I’m not saying raising a puppy has to be this hard… it is going to have ruff times, and there will be really amazing times as well!!
I see you, I hear you, and I am here to Support You!
As I grow as a trainer, my life goal — is shifting… It is changing…, and I want to change how we raise our puppies and how we experience puppyhood— the good, the bad, the ugly, and the AMAZING!… There is a part of puppyhood that takes surviving…. there will be easy times and there will be really hard times… but what if.. what if you had a support system that allowed you to reach out any time during ruff period to vent, get extra information and be validated that it is hard… you’re not doing anything wrong and right now consistency is what you keep doing… What if you had a resource that taught you what you could expect behavior-wise from your puppy during different age ranges… and help you understand why puppies do what they do… to save some frustration–thinking your puppy is purposefully being naughty.
What if you could set your puppy up for a happy, healthy doghood by taking structured and methodical steps towards socialization— I promise– as a dog owner that missed this vital stage with Skippy, it is so worth focusing all your attention on this, so you can reduce the reactivity potential, take your dog on a walk without a ton of fear involved… make trips to the groomers, vets offices, out and about less stressful for YOU and your dog. You can re-socialize your dog, however…it is time-consuming, and Skippy is 3, and we are still working on some repeated exposures we missed during the critical period — will we ever socialize with those? I don’t know— but we keep trying…
We can raise our puppies better…and my training mission is to help you and as many puppy parents out there to raise well-balanced dogs– because not only is your life better— your dog’s life is better.