After having a corporate job for many, many years, I gave it up to become a dog trainer.
The other day, it occurred to me that dog training and the dog world in general have colored my world in a way that my other job never did.
For example, I was watching the Wizard of Oz with my sister the other day and for me at least, it was all about Toto, the dog in the movie. I wondered how long it took to train him to do certain behaviors, what his background was, and mostly, whether Dorothy actually gets to keep him at the end of the movie. It’s a plot point that you think is resolved because that’s what you need for a happy ending, but it’s not! For anyone who doesn’t understand these references, watch the movie – it’s a classic.
This is just one example. I find myself looking for recipes for dog cookies. I read dog books. I even hang out with dog people. That’s not to say that I wasn’t very interested in dogs before – I was.
But now I sometimes joke that I have joined a cult because we are all so dog-oriented.
In truth, this shift in focus has really changed my view about how to enrich and have fun with your dog. For example, I never appreciated how much my dogs would enjoy a class like Canine Nosework, but when we took it, it was clear that they loved searching through the boxes for treats. (I think they’d have fun in an agility class too but unfortunately neither one can fit through the tunnel). There are all kinds of things I plan to do with my dogs – next up is a Canine Good Citizen class. In short, there are lots of great things to for you and you dog to learn and it doesn’t have to end with Sit and Down.
And by the way, if I have joined a cult, I’m happy they let me in.