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I Don’t Think I’m in Kansas Anymore

Author: Paulette Solinski | Date: September 20, 2012

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.



    1. Lee Cornell says:

      I am Paulette’s sister and, most assuredly not a dog person. I am surrounded by dog people (two sisters, a niece, a brother-in-law and a nephew-in law). Paulette’s daughter, Sarah Gaziano, is also a dog trainer at Animal Sense. Both of them have written interesting blogs, related to their love of (and interaction with dogs). They are both clever, witty women so I would expect no less. I find it fascinating to read blogs –as long as they are short and “chatty”, even if it is about a subject that would not exactly be at the top of my reading list. Paulette has discussed serious subjects, like her blog Beware of Bloat, dated August 22, 2012. This is a disease that affected one of Paulette’s dogs so she is interested in making people aware of the potential problems since Bloat is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer.

      One of Paulette’s blogs especially resonated with me (Hello Kiddies, dated December 31, 2011). It addresses the issue of children interacting with dogs. I can remember when Sarah was a toddler and they had three giant sheepdogs in the house. The dogs were generally very well behaved but, on occasion, one would sort of jump on me, pretty much knocking me backwards and I am not a delicate flower. Sarah would stand among the dogs as a tiny figure surrounded by three large creatures with absolutely no fear. Early on, she learned to respect the dogs and they, in turn, treated her gently and it was apparently the beginning of a love affair with dogs that continues to this day.

      • Sarahg says:

        Can I just mention that I loved those big dogs? I don’t remember being small enough that they were bigger than me, but I’m sure they were for a large portion of my life. I remember being surrounded by them my entire life (We lived in a small apartment and they were huge.). I guess we never stopped being surrounded by dogs. I am totally in love with that feeling :).

The trainers really get to know and evaluate your dog to figure out techniques that the dog will respond to.

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